Technology in all its forms is a tool of business. Since the mid-90s the workplace has been revolutionised by technology with the internet being the major driver of this revolution. In the past decade, the use of technology is the ‘new normal’, commanding our waking hours and to be ‘always on call’. As one CEO said during our research for CEO Insights, the current workplace ‘is relentless, 24/7/365’.
I can recall when computers were provided to all my staff there was a mindset that the use of printers and paper would be redundant, which was not the case. Over time, more efficient systems have been introduced into the workplace and workers have learnt to adapt. Our research shows workers today are highly adaptable to technology shifts and demands but it does bring its own challenges with over half of workers feeling technology-related stress (2016 Snapshot of the Australian Workplace).
Your question raises a broader response about how resilient and adaptable workers are to the introduction of new systems. It must be acknowledged that the impact of new technology on a workplace won’t come as a shock, in fact our research shows 40% of workers see the shift to new technology as having a significant impact on the way they work (2016 Snapshot of the Australian Workplace).
To address and calm the mindset of workers requires leadership that recognises workplace culture is critical to building resilience and adaptability as well as employee engagement.
Communicating why this new form of technology is being used and how it will actually benefit workers, such as reducing time or workload, will appease any misconceptions that technology will replace them.