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Impact of Technology in the Workplace
Impacts of Technology on the American Workplace
Technology has infiltrated almost all sectors of the economy, especially in workplaces. It is practically impossible to lack an element of technology in any company in America. The integration of such has helped units of production cope with their customers’ demands, especially in terms of generating quality and quantity. With the economic expansion and population growth, companies would have a hard time filling in the market gaps using traditional production methods. As such, technology has revolutionized production and distribution as well as demand and supply within the economy. Ideally, technology has impacted workplaces in the US both in positive and negative ways. Technology is highlighted to have increased production yield, but it has become a point of concern since it is not just an element in production but the most important factor. Indeed, technology enhances production by enhancing collaboration between employees, enabling workers to make proper decisions through the availability of data and increasing production efficiency, hence on-time delivery of products and services. However, technology impedes growth and development in the workplace since it promotes laziness and loss of skills and attracts high maintenance costs on the employer’s side.
One of the most important aspects of the workplace is finding the right workforce for every particular task. For a company to come up with a finished product, there are lots of processes and manpower that go into making the product a success. In a study conducted in 2020, 300 organizations that used technology to enhance teamwork improved their production by an average of 70% at a time when businesses were on the decline due to Covid19. Technology makes it easier for workers to work together and channel their efforts and attention to their areas of strength. Teams from different parts of the world can work together using communication channels that would increase their chances of realizing success. Technologies such as messaging, imaging, scanning, and video conferencing enable people to work and communicate in real time. Workers do not have to travel from one place to another to deliver their expertise or contribute towards the production process. They can brainstorm new ideas, conduct demonstrations using the whiteboard, share documents and even build product designs using virtual reality. Therefore, technology is significant in enhancing collaboration between workers within and outside an organization, thus influencing production.
Enhances Proper Decision Making
Decision-making was perceived as the main function of management in the traditional setup. However, with the incorporation of technology in workplaces, decision-making has been delegated to lower-level managers and workers due to the huge amounts of data available on the internet. Workers can access huge data sets that can be subjected to analytical tools and aid in a better understanding of the issue. Organizations have invested heavily in computer systems and software which can hold and run analytics. Tools such as R and Python, Microsoft Excel, Tableau, RapidMiner, KNIME, and Power BI enable users to feed in data and run diagnostics, enabling comparisons and aiding decision-making. Companies do not, therefore, have to conduct trial and error when piloting since technology helps them predict certain outcomes in production. Technology also enables people within the workplace to consult widely before making decisions. Initially, it was difficult for lower-level employees to access top leadership when serious issues were to be handled. With technology, however, all workers have greater access to exchanging information and sharing serious matters with the management, hence lesser room for error.
Efficiency and On-time Delivery
One of the main characteristics of technology is speed and efficiency. With all the required tools in place, technology enhances the speed at which processes occur within the workplace. Technology as a substitute for traditional work processes eliminates all duplications and errors as long as the procedure is correct, increasing the workflow from one point to another. Machines also generally work faster than humans, and they do not get tired as long as they are in good condition. Many companies within the US are looking to replace most of their workforce with robots, as this would increase production by 30%. Machines enable fast production and delivery processes in a society where time has become important to satisfying consumer needs. Moreover, machines do not make errors as long as the correct data is fed in; thus, companies have higher chances of meeting and surpassing consumer expectations. Organizations that make on-time deliveries are bound to make more deliveries, generating more revenue.
Before the advent of many technological elements and their integration into the workplace, workers were required to master skills in the production process. Most people had special skill sets, enabling the division of labor and specialization. With technology coming, people expected such skills to be developed further, especially in design and architecture. However, with time, technology has hampered creativity, as people rely more on technology to complete their tasks. They prefer easier ways rather than getting all hands-on deck. Overreliance on technology has led to the loss of skills and talent in the workplace due to the availability of computer programs that can solve similar tasks as human beings. Workers are, therefore, lazier since much of the workload in the workplace is lifted off them.
High Maintenance Costs
Keeping up with the competition in the market requires companies to invest heavily in technology. Purchasing the right technology, which would propagate high production, usually takes up the largest share of the initial capital when setting up a workplace. Even so, the machines and computer systems must be maintained and replaced according to their efficiency and contribution to the work processes. If the technological aspects in a workplace do not work efficiently, the production process is slowed down and can eventually stop. Companies, therefore, have to ensure that these machines are maintained. The costs are always high, depending on the expertise required to maintain the technology in hand. Furthermore, breakdowns in machines lead to a stoppage in work since most companies cannot revert to manual working processes. Such scenarios cut down the production processes and efficiency of the concerned companies and may also result in huge losses.
In conclusion, technology has impacted all forms of production and enabled the satisfaction of consumer needs. Today, companies with ineffective technologies cannot compete favorably with their counterparts with sufficient and efficient technology. Technologies have bridged the gap between projected output and consumer demands, thus revenue. Technology has enabled workplaces in the US by enabling collaboration between different teams from different parts of the world, enhancing proper decision-making through the availability of statistics and data sets, and enabling efficiency and on-time delivery. However, technology has also come at a cost since it has propelled laxity and laziness within workplaces. Workers currently over-rely on technology other than their inherent talents and skills. Most technological forms’ initial and maintenance costs are also major expenses for companies and production units. Despite these factors, technology has been a major positive to workplaces in the US and stimulated economic growth.
Nero, Matthew, Chuanhe Shan, Li-C. Wang, and Nik Sumikawa. “Concept recognition in production yield data analytics.” In 2018 IEEE International Test Conference (ITC), pp. 1-10. IEEE, 2018.
Wilkens, Uta. “Artificial intelligence in the workplace–A double-edged sword.” The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology (2020).
Zaharieva, Dessi P., Franziska K. Bishop, and David M. Maahs. “Advancements and future directions in the teamwork, targets, technology, and tight control—the 4T study: improving clinical outcomes in newly diagnosed pediatric type 1 diabetes.” Current Opinion in Pediatrics 34, no. 4 (2022): 423-429.