Has tech changed our relationship with work for the better or worse?
What do Google, Bitcoin, Facebook and the iPhone all have in common?
None of them existed a mere 20 years ago.
This is quite literally the dawn of a whole new era. We are living in a time of explosive tech, where the latest job titles sound made up, and one device now combines the capabilities of dozens of machines (and better!) We’ve taken this ultra-powerful tech, and now the "workplace" is wherever we want it to be; the beach, the office, the sofa or the train.
Our challenge now?
To figure out if tech is actually revolutionising our workplaces... or ruining our lives.
The positives of portability
Flexible working is on the rise, and for good reason. 91% of remote workers believe they “get more work done when working remotely”*.
Younger generations are leading the way, with 85% of millennials preferring to telecommute 100% of the time.
Companies are able to recruit from a global talent pool, view a video CV and hire minutes later. More and more job descriptions actively advertise remote working as an option, so it’s commonplace to call up your tech guy in Portugal and your sales team in the US.
I dunno, Google it?
We have more info at our fingertips than ever before - just Google it.
90% of the data on the internet has been created since 2016. Why would anyone read a book in depth when Ctrl+F exists? We have the ability “self-serve" our own learning and development and bypass a university degree thanks to handy video tutorials. Got a query? You can tweet a question to world experts, and instantly get a response.
Stop, collaborate and listen
God bless Google Drive. Praise be the almighty Cloud solutions in the sky. We’ve harnessed the power of tech to make collaboration easier than ever before. One study found companies that promote collaborative working are 5x as likely to be high performing.
There are countless ways to come together, from video chatting another continent to getting instant feedback on a collaborative document.
But what impact is this having on all of us?
Death of 9-5
Deloitte found a trend of overwhelmed employees in organisations as a result of an always-connected lifestyle and information overload.
While no-one is suggesting a return to the strict 9-5, pinstripe suits, and fax machines, we are slowly seeing the negatives of our new way of working.
Being unable to put down our phones is leading to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and a plethora of other health concerns. With pressure to immediately reply to every email (no matter what time it is), anxiety is on the rise, and the fear of being replaced by a robot is all too real.
The Economist Intelligence Unit found that employees who believe that their workplace effectively uses mobile tech are more creative, satisfied, and productive at work. But this also has the potential to drive us apart. Companies struggle to create a positive office culture as emails replace face-to-face meetings and your staff are spread all over the globe.
If you’ve ever been guilty of sending a message to a colleague who is sat mere meters away, you start to wonder whether tech has made us less connected than ever?
Finding the balance
We are still figuring out our relationship with tech and the workplace. At the dawn of the technological era, our decisions now will affect generations to come.
And as tech takes over, we need to set our own boundaries for Tech Era 2.0
Just because we could answer an email at any time, does that mean we should?
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Sources: *https://www.ciphr.com/advice/10-remote-working-stats-every-business-leader-know/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2017/06/22/new-study-finds-that-collaboration-drives-workplace-performance/#2086f9d73d02 https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2014/hc-trends-2014-overwhelmed-employee.html http://www.arubanetworks.com/pdf-viewer/?q=/assets/EIUStudy.pdf