The Impact of Technology in the Workplace

It is no secret that technology has had a major impact on today’s workforce.  The way we work, how long we work, from where we work and the efficiency of our work has been greatly influenced by technology.  Understanding the advantages, challenges and complexities of technology will be crucial for any job seeker, employer, supervisor or employee in today’s workforce.
The speed and efficiency of how we work has greatly increased because of technology.  Even basic tasks like notetaking and brainstorming have become more innovative with advances in technology.  Think of a meeting 2o years ago between three or four colleagues taking place in an office or over a conference line.  As brainstorming and idea sharing are taking place, 20 years ago someone would have been responsible for taking notes to make sure everyone’s ideas are recorded.  In the day and age of the GoogleDoc, multiple individuals can update notes on the same document in real time eliminating the need for one central person to capture everyone’s thought and send out a document after the meeting.
The interaction between employees and business has been vastly impacted by technology over the years.  Although in person meetings are still a requirement for some business transactions, the ability to be anywhere in the world and meet face-to-face has made how we all do business different.   Video conferencing with platforms such as Skype, Google Chat, Redbooth and Go-To-Meeting has given us all the ability to have face to face interactions with team members, job seekers and future business partners.  It has allowed us all to be in more places at one time greatly increasing our ability to interact and network with more people.
How and who we hire has been dramatically affected by technology.  For many organizations, the region in which you may reside no longer affects your ability to do a job or manage people.  A supervisor living in Chicago can now manage a team of individuals residing in New York City.   Because of email, social media and video-conferencing more employees are telecommuting, leaving behind the stressful days of sitting in rush hour traffic in cities like Washington DC, Los Angeles or San Francisco.
The gig-economy has also changed the way we work.  More and more people are choosing to freelance and work as contractors in multiple jobs.  The ability to work multiple jobs virtually is attractive to many millennials and national organizations are taking notice.  The gig economy is now estimated to be about 34% of the workforce and expected to be closer to 43% by 2020.
And with all that said, we must all be careful of the effects of too much technology.  With the ability to be everywhere all the time and so much information being shared instantly, it becomes easy to always be on the clock.  Detaching from work has become a major problem for many in today’s workforce.  Turning off email notifications or shutting down your mobile work phone can be crucial when trying to avoid technology burnout.