There’s no doubt that technology is changing the way the business world does things. For businesses, technology has many advantages, allowing employees to work more flexibly and giving businesses ever clearer insights into their customers and their own business processes.
With the growth in technology come the whispers that it might just take over from humans, replacing many jobs with machines. Is a technological takeover a real threat to employees? And how can businesses embrace technology and help their employees to do the same?
Did Technology Kill The Telephone Operator?
Talk of machines taking over from humans has been around for some time now, but as technology becomes more and more common in the workplace it seems like a more tangible possibility.
Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt admitted at the 2014 World Economic Forum that there is something of a race between technology and human beings right now – a race which he says it’s important human beings win.
As more tasks become automated, employees may become more worried about their jobs. As pointed out in the piece “Five Things Employees Really Want in a Job“, security is important for employees, and the threat of being replaced by a machine does little to engender that. Luckily there is room in the modern workplace for technology and humans.
How Technology Benefits Businesses
Technology has many benefits for businesses, giving CEOs the tools to run their operations more effectively and make smarter business decisions.
From using VOIP and cloud technology to keep a team in touch across locations to using automation to carry out tasks such as scanning documents and extracting key information, technology undoubtedly makes businesses better.
Choosing to automate tasks certainly means that some tasks will no longer require a human operator, but the key is to adapt the workplace and working culture to fit with emerging technology, rather than simply replacing existing systems.
How to Utilize Technology Without Losing the Human Touch
There are many tasks that a machine simply cannot do as well as a human. Customer service, for example, requires the human touch. When it comes to building relationships with customers, businesses would do well to remember that people don’t buy from brands, they buy from people.
When it comes to reaching out to customers and making the connections that will lead to trusting relationships, nothing can replace the warmth and connection between human beings.
Even with tasks that can be automated, there is still plenty of space for humans and technology to work in concert. From overseeing processes to analyzing data and formulating future plans, technology works best alongside human beings, not instead of them.
Integrating Technology into Businesses
Business owners looking to make the best of the advantages technology offers them will get the most benefit if they plan carefully and help their employees to adapt, making them a part of the process rather than distancing them from it.
Business owners can include their whole team in discussions about new technology that they’re considering using, helping employees to see the benefits it offers them rather than seeing it as either a threat or an intimidating learning curve.
Bosses can help make integration smoother with good training and introducing technology at a steady pace instead of changing too much at once.
Technology as an integral part of business is here to stay, offering plenty of advantages to businesses of all kinds. Technology is changing the business landscape, but that doesn’t have to mean pushing human workers aside. Rather, businesses can utilize their human strengths and knowledge to make the most of technology.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, technology in the workplace and job security.