Technology's Impact on Work Environment
Modern technology has turned into an inherent component of the workplace. It is penetrating into every aspect of people’s lives and adopting a growing organic standard as it turns out to be part of us, contrary to how it has been for a long time in the human history. Technology is defined as the application of science in the engineering, industry, offices, learning institutions among many other areas to create useful items or to solve certain problems (Jonge, Scherer, & Rodger, 2007). This article focuses on the impact of technology on work environment.
Technology and Work
Technology has completely changed the work surrounding. Through specialization and division of labor, it has become easy to deploy the use of machines and equipment in production processes hence making work more effective and efficient. Nowadays, ancient technology is regarded as outdated, and employees have to be trained and developed to be up-to-date with the latest technology. Technological advancement in organizations is at an ever growing rate, and numerous issues presently surrounding the office environment will undoubtedly impact on how we work. This is due to the increase in knowledge, which requires a compatible match of personnel and machines as well as space among many other factors. The vast and straightforward style related to developing organization knowledge as well as maintaining secure information inevitably includes technology (Treat, 2011).
In the past, technology has had and continues to have an intense impact on the way people work. A solid channel of information combined with rapid paths of access plus methods of mobility supply information at an exponential rate. Therefore, what is left is to manage it by increasing cooperation, accepting fresh generation on the front line, as well as including teams of experts. A good example can be borrowed from an office design, an undertaking which initially required only an engineer and an architect; instead, now, it requires a number of expertise including project manager, safety advisor, code consultancy, spec writers, information technology, as well as software and hardware security. The number of workers for a project will continue increasing with better information plus cheaper and more reliable resources and even the change in codes and regulations. While such changes occur, designers are compelled to be more creative while the best industries devise integrated teams of experts and assist them through their interactions with the work environment and the technology (Jonge, Scherer, & Rodger, 2007).
As a matter of fact, we are presently undergoing a revolution within the work place, created substantively by the deployment of technology. This revolution leads to the change of the nature of work; as a result, jobs become either obsolete or transferred whereas redefining of skills and their measurement becomes the object of contestation. The changes herein have significant societal and human consequences. From a human perspective, some workers could find out that the use of technology makes their jobs more satisfying and complex while others could find that they are disconcerted and abruptly turning to be incompetent. At the same time, there are those who could realize that their work has become less challenging. However, their professionalism and artistry they had gained over the years loose importance. On the same breath, there are those who will suffer from the loss of their jobs. Notably, from a societal perspective, technology allows to achieve a striking balance in productivity; however, it has its unpleasant side effects such as lower job wages and unemployment which turned to be a really burning issue (Aswathappa, 2006).
Introduction of Technology
There is an underlying discourse on the influence of technology on jobs centered on the labor process theory as depicted by Braverman. The theory merely points out that the fundamental reason of introducing technology within the workplace is to promote conveyance of skill from labor to capital, hence affording excellent management control of the labor process. The transference of skills leads to loss of worker efficiency. This implies that technology stimulates dialectics between management and labor linked to the position of skills; this, in turn, affects the workplace power. This theory must withstand numerous challenges over time, with analysts giving their own perceptions of the interaction between labor and management concerning the introduction of technology (Miller, 2013). Nonetheless, setbacks imply that this labor process theory stands out as the principal explanation of the drive following the introduction of technology within the work premises. In line with this theory, the introduction of technology causes the following set of outcomes: devaluation of craft knowledge, loss of past skills, diminishing of autonomy and discretionary power of workers, and reduction of union power. Thus, it can be deduced that this will promote the idea of deskilling the workers (Miller, 2013).
Therefore, labor process answers the decrease in craft, a situation which is observable in all occupations. For instance, replacement of setups and processes with computerized numerical control in the machining trade provides raw material for the concept of deskilling. This theory is useful in manufacturing settings and explains the change in skills among clerical workers. Besides the fact that the teaching professional is depicted relatively resistant to technological changes this far, with the prospect of computer gadgets in several homes, it will not be long before teacher’s work becomes substantially redefined (Miller, 2013).
Introduction of Technology Promotes Skills
On the other hand, deskilling is upgrading based on the notion that the introduction of technology promotes skills. Workers get access to more information at their disposal regarding the work processes and depend less on their bodies and mostly on their cognitive abilities. This results in the increased complexity of work, promotion of workers’ autonomy, and more complex tasks. Following the introduction of technology, firms may consider having fewer laborers who are required to carry out several jobs. At the same time, some job complexity might be increased while other gets decreased. Workers negotiate with skill as their capital while technology invariably requires the worth of capital into question (Aswathappa, 2006).
Consequently, application and use of technology within the premise of work has resulted into horizontal organization framework that is contrary to the traditional vertical structures. This has been facilitated by real time exchange of information plus integration of distinct functions enhancing them to seamlessly interact. This might also result in the increased integration of departments. Thus, it is through technology that horizontal framework is adopted (Treat, 2011).
Technology Influence the Cost of Labor
The use of technology is also said to influence the cost of labor and production. This is possible through utilizing of efficient machines and equipment which maximizes output while still minimizing cost. Again, the deployment of technology facilitates industry to employ fewer employees, because machines carry out work that could be done by several people. In return, the administration cost is cut down, because industries are working at a reduced labor cost. Notably, the volume of paperwork has drastically been reduced following the usage of computing technology. As a result, the firm is run at low cost. In addition, the automation of typical business processes and remittance of invoices has led to the efficient and inexpensive provision of services, because the institutions are in a position to generate receipt and invoices instantly at the sales point (Jonge, Scherer, & Rodger, 2007).
Moreover, technological use has transformed the process of decision-making. In the past, managers have been making decisions by relying on experience and intuition. This way of making decisions was challenging due to its unreliability. By the use of technology, managers can now make faster and more reliable decisions through the use of empirical information. The information is objective and accurate and hence unbiased. In addition, there is a smooth flow of information through the computing technology facilitating fast passing of information thus leading to reliable and timely decisions (Treat, 2011).
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Information Technology with in Work
Information technology within work premise has resulted in the emergence and evolution of new ethical standards. Confidentiality and privacy of information over time has been compromised due to unauthorized and increased access to information through the internet. Again, organizational secrets and strategic plans have been leaked through unauthorized access and disclosure of information to the competitors through hacking and by dishonest workers. For example, in the recent past, there has been a Wiki Leaks controversy, which is among the biggest challenges. Government official are regularly faced with the challenge of balancing security of information and the desire of public for instant and broad access to the same (Aswathappa, 2006).
Emergence of Digital Organization
There has also been the emergence of digital organization owing to the use of technology. This entails an arrangement through which business associations with customers, employees, and suppliers are digitally mediated. Moreover, business reaction to their environment changes has been enhanced through digital communication, thus facilitating business to be carried out at all times regardless of geographical boundaries. This new technology also encourages globalization of commerce and trade. This marks a drift from ethical and tribal conflicts, which predominated in human history (Papasratorn, Chutimaskul, & Porkaew, 2009).
As technology continues to have impacts on the way people work, there are emerging trends where members of staff are opting for shared workspace as well as collaborative processes neglecting private offices. Therefore, it can be said that with more young people at the work place, there will be steady impact on work. This is due to the fact that the young generation is quickly embracing technology changes (Miller, 2013).