It’s safe to assume that the vast majority of companies use some sort of technology to conduct business—even a mom-and-pop store needs point-of-sale software.
But have you ever really thought about how this technology affects your organization’s workforce and workplace? Technology is such an integral part of our day-to-day activities that it’s easy to forget the substantial impact it’s had (and continues to have) on our professional lives.
Read on to learn four ways workplace technology affects company culture.
Workplace technology has helped tear down the walls between employee and supervisor. Cloud file-sharing solutions provide added visibility into operations across the company, which, in turn, enables increased transparency. The amount of information available only to upper management is decreased, putting employees almost as much in the know as the executive team and promoting a greater sense of equality
Allowing access to nearly the same volume of data to all employees, regardless of position, also helps to dismantle the traditional business hierarchy. As a result, communications become more relaxed. For example, an employee would not be surprised to receive an email from their supervisor that contains casual language or emojis.
More businesses are also using chat clients for inter-office communication, and few people expect correct punctuation and grammar (or even proper spelling) from anyone who is using an instant messenger platform.
Professional development is often described as a “must-have” for millennials, and if their current employer isn’t providing opportunities for career growth, they’ll head to a company that does.
With eLearning software, employees can expand their knowledge base and skillset, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction. Many softwares also offer professional certifications, which can support employees in their careers.
eLearning software helps foster an environment of empowerment where employees feel encouraged and want to stick around for a while. In addition to improved retention, employers who have proven to be supportive of professional development will find it easier to attract top talent.
A collaborative workforce is a productive workforce, and workplace technology is essential for any organization that wants to promote teamwork and collaboration.
Collaboration software supports connections between all employees, no matter where they are in the world. It facilitates interdepartmental communication and ensures every person involved in a project is always on the same page, helping to reduce frustration and unnecessary repeat work.
Collaboration software also makes it easy to crowdsource ideas, encouraging each employee to feel welcome to voice his or her opinion. Employees feel more engaged with their employer and more allied with their colleagues.
“Always On”/Work-Life Balance
The effect of workplace technology on company culture is not always positive, however. The ability to work from a mobile device can create an “always-on” environment where employers expect employees to respond to emails and resolve issues during non-work hours.
While mobility supports a flexible workplace, being connected 24/7 can have a major impact on an employee’s work-life balance. And without a healthy equilibrium between their professional and personal lives (another Millennial must-have), employees will quickly burn out, morale will plummet and turnover will skyrocket.
Employers must support designated “off” times where employees can unplug, forget about work and focus only on themselves.
Most organizations recognize the importance of a strong company culture, but not every business understands the multitude of factors that can affect its culture in both positive and negative ways. Using the right workplace technology can be beneficial for employees and employers, but organizations must ensure their workplace is human-centered and not technology-centered.
Is your business open to innovation and always ready to adopt new technology? It should be. Download our free eBook, 4 Ways Innovative Leaders Stay Ahead of the Technology Curve, to ensure your organization is staying on the cutting edge of workplace technology.