Over the last few years, we have been witnessing considerable changes in the workplace environment. It is in technology that the biggest and most dramatic changes occurred, and these have affected the workplace environment and its management in various ways. Significant changes can be seen in the requirement of employee skills, training programs offered to them, employer-employee communication patterns, documentation systems, and even in the physical place of work. These changes in today’s workplaces are the effects of two major phenomena of globalization and the advent of web-based technology.
The technological improvement that came about in the last decade influenced workplace management in many ways. Firstly, the communication process became very fast with the help of recent innovations in the internet and telecommunication such as video conferencing and hi-fi communication. People became capable of communicating in a matter of seconds. The physical contact between employers and employees in communication is also reduced.
Employers could now interact with and give instructions to subordinates even when they are traveling in cars or planes. The intra-personal communication between the employees was also equally affected. Now people in workplaces rely on technology to communicate. This has, in effect, reduced their level of personal relationship and may affect their teamwork. Mark Dowdy, a marketing executive for IBM, agrees that “issues of communication are heightened when people don’t spend as much time together, and teamwork must be re-established periodically because you no longer have the camaraderie at the office.” (In the office, (n.d.)).
Also, the traditional concept of office as something to impress the clients has changed. Now major communication with clients occurs through phones or e-mails. So the role of the business is mainly to deliver a friendly atmosphere to clients.
Another important means that bring changes to the workplace is the use of the internet and web technology. As a result of this, efficiency in production has increased manifold. These communication tools are widely used to collect information in any work setting. The use of the internet promoted e-commerce and e-learning has revolutionized the modern workplace. With a computer and internet connection, people can work anywhere at any time.
So the concept of ‘boss’ has changed. Working away from the office or working at home is a current trend that transforms the concept of the workplace. Though e-learning can be effectively used in employee training or development, many argue that it may reduce the quality of organizational learning. The internet also stands the risk of being misused in various ways. Often technology distracts workers in the modern workplace.
Supervisors are forced to be more vigilant in curbing the malpractices associated with internet and web technology. The present workplace puts emphasis on highly skilled workers. Every field is under the influence of technology, and only those laborers who can adapt to the changing needs can withstand the competition existing in the modern workplace. In the opinion of Leo Lingham, the modern era seeks “diversity in the workplace, challenging results, high efficiency, and effectiveness and high-level skills.” (Dealing with employees- workplace, 2008).
The impact of the changes is also present in employee training. They need to explore new ideas and areas of work and have to rely on the World Wide Web for the dissemination of knowledge. Importance is given to skills in finding solutions to technological problems. In the present globalized world, employees also have to learn to collaborate with cross-country organizations. Knowledge about new innovations and research in them is another area where the modern workplace gives priority, unlike the situation was a decade ago.
Finally, today’s workplace differs largely from older times in the status of workers. In earlier years, workers had to obey orders without question. But today’s workers who are skilled and who possess knowledge can pursue new jobs and change their profession accordingly. ”Today’s workplace is much more egalitarian,” says Arlyne Diamond. (Diamond, 2009).
In a world of great technological transformation, the impact of technology as one sees in today’s workplace is undeniable. In addition to technology, other factors such as the globalized economy, availability of highly skilled workers, the advantages of working at home, isolation of employers triggered by digital communication, etc. have impacts on the changes occurring in the modern workplace.
Dealing with employees- workplace. (2008). All Experts. Web.
Diamond, A. (2009). Work place conflict: Is your management style to blame. All Business: A D&B Company. Web.
In the office. (n.d.). Web.