Technology has been a constant support for humans since the Stone Age when they made knives and stones for their livelihood. The workplace has also seen dynamic changes which had made man impossible to work without technology. Technology has brought forth an evolution in the world of business operations in the 21st century. Here, let’s know about the Advantages and Disadvantages of Technology.
Technology has provided all kinds of hardware, software, and other online capabilities that have benefitted business owners. Every office desk has a computer equipped with the latest software for communications, data management, and other job-related tasks. All of these technologies have their pros and cons.
Definition of Technology
Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for the practical aims of human lives which changes and manipulated the human environment. Its role in both the personal and working lives of humans is rapidly growing. The meaning of the term has significantly changed over the last two centuries. The word came into use mainly during the Second Industrial Revolution. Technology is often a result of science and engineering but it precedes both of them.
Examples of Technologies
Some of the new technologies that have defined this century as the age of technology:
- The computers came into use back in the 1980s and is now a common household device and related to different aspects of modern life.
- Modern technologies for communication such as mobile phones, the internet, wifi, 3G have all contributed to creating a virtual world with access to people and information.
- Multifunctional devices can perform multiple tasks unlike in the past when a single device could only perform a particular task. One of the most used examples would be a mobile phone that functions as a camera, webcam, telephone, video player, music player, internet browser, etc.
- Besides contributing in military equipments, cyberwarfare is also utilizing modern technology for military purposes.
This graph shows the growth in the percentage of people in the world who regularly use the Internet
Uses of Technology
Technology is used for several business purposes such as:
- Communication – Technology is necessary for communication with customers. Interactions with clients are made quicker and clearer with its help. Customer questions are answered quicker through websites. Moving company products through large geographic areas are made possible through the options for fast shipment. Businesses also maintain a stronger public image through their communication with customers and clients.
- Operation Efficiency – Technology is not only used by a business to preserve its resources like space and time but also to understand its cash flow. It helps the company manage the storage costs of products. Executives save money as well as the time when meetings are held over the internet instead of the headquarters.
- Business Relations – Technology helps maintain team dynamics through the interactions of employees from different geographical locations. It helps the workers work together putting their differences aside.
- Security – Technology is used to protect executive decisions, data related to finance, and other confidential information related to the business. It protects companies from their competitors as well.
- Research Purposes – To stay ahead of the market competition. Companies use technology for research purposes. The company needs to acquire new opportunities and grow for a better future. Through the internet, they can travel virtually saving the cost for executive jets and establishing factories abroad.
Advantages of Technology
Technologies have various benefits for humans both in their personal and professional lives. Some such benefits are as follows:
- Increased Connectivity
One’s workplace, as well as one’s home, is ruled by technology. It helps connect people from different parts of the world. For example, an office in London will have no issues in contacting a client in New York since they will have smooth communication despite being miles away from each other. Technology knows no boundaries and makes all the world’s population one big family.
- Reduced Work
Technologies handle has of the workforce of a company in the present world. Some widely used examples are robotic machines for factories and manufacturing hubs as well as the computers belonging to IT sectors.
The work pressure of every individual reduces significantly since its handles a major part of it.
Unlike the times when everything including transportation to manufacturing to sales was done by manual labor, technology plays a big role in handling such tasks.
- Accuracy and Persistence
Machines always work with full accuracy. Every product manufactured is a replica of the previous one. The computer entries are correct and precise. For example, when an article or report types in a computer, the grammar, punctuations, and spellings get checked automatically.
This makes the work of writers and editors easier by providing such automatic proofreading tools which had to be done in person before. Technology has helped save time for them along with a sense of self-confidence.
- Work Outside Office
One can do their work without having to be physically present in their offices. A proper internet connection and a working computer are all one needs to do their jobs even within their own homes.
This is also helpful in times of emergencies when everyone can be present in one place without being there in person. All that is necessary is a good network connection and the right appliances.
- Time Management
Technology helps save time, money, and energy. One can do their work in no time that would have taken hours before. The information tech stored in databases helps the decision-making process much faster.
Besides the advancement of humanity, technology is also responsible for changing the lifestyle of people around the world. It makes one more witty and smart through instant corrections and lesser human errors.
- Creativity and Innovation
Individual workers come up with different business ideas for the growth and expansion of the business while working with different related technologies. Companies often reward their employees who bring forth creative ideas through technology.
- Proper Communication
Communication technologies are popular among businesses that help in better communication and interaction between employees. For example, employees from different departments of the same company can comminute virtually through video calls and text messages for sharing and exchanging information.
They also play a big role in the communication between customers and customer service departments.
- Human Resource Management
Technology helps in human resource management by making the screening, recruiting, and hiring process of new employees easier. Notices for jobs and recruitments are mostly posted online by the hiring managers.
Even the interested candidates can apply for the respective jobs by sending their resumes online to the human resource managers. The technology monitors the employees’ performance and productivity and such vigilance leads to increased productivity.
Disadvantages of Technology
Technology also has certain disadvantages. Some examples are as follows:
Individuals tend to get lazy when the work is automatically done with the help of technology. Hence their skills and creativity would not be of any more use. The simplest tasks like calculating sales or tracking the inventory are done with the help of technologies.
Workers no longer use their brains to solve problems even the less critical ones because of their computers or different software. Companies prefer their employees to work along with the technologies instead of being dependant on them. Individuals should focus on innovative and creative tasks by letting computers do all the time-consuming and tedious jobs.
- Less Employment
Humans are being replaced by machines and robots who can do the work they had been doing in the past. Robots and technology are more efficient and productive than human beings hence reducing their value in the job market.
Such causes lead to more unemployed individuals that result in poverty. Employments should be given more importance but since that cause more loss of the company’s money, they prefer using technology.
- Technological Failures
Machines break down over time since they have no lifetime guarantees. Even those from larger brands stop working overtime. This causes huge losses for the company.
As a result, the manufacturing process comes to a sudden halt causing the different departments of the company to stop functioning. Such situations if not solved can result in the failure of such businesses.
- Replacing Humans
Machines may be more efficient but they are not as innovative and creative as human minds. The human brain is after all the most advanced of all.
Machines produce the same product again and again. But human beings can brainstorm new ideas new and different types of products whenever required.
- Lack of Understanding
There is a lack of understanding between the individuals. Since most of the communication is done virtually somehow the human connection fails to be on a deeper level.
Instead of meeting clients face to face, they communicate from different geographical locations. Interpersonal communications are essential for building relationships and getting to know each other in the workplace. It makes one more reserved and self-centered.
- Lack of Mentorship
Several individuals are known as digital nomads or those who work from home never receive in-person mentorship. The same is the case for those who share a workplace but they may mostly communicate digitally. Mentors put more workload on employees since they are absent physically.
Technologies may even cause distraction among employees resulting in loss of concentration from their works. Social media is one of such causes that decrease the productivity of employees.
Some companies even have the policy of not allowing any access to social media such as Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram. Similarly, other office technologies like smartphones, computers, or virtual meeting applications may also divert the employees’ attention.
Technology tends to be risky at times especially when corned with data security. All employees have access to the private and confidential data of the business.
That may make it harder to monitor the usage and privacy of such information. There is also the factor of cybercrimes, and unfortunate events like hacking may cause substantial loss to the company.
Technologically Advanced Countries
Technology has its reach on all the continents of the earth. Some use it more than the rest in their daily lives. The top ten most technologically advanced countries as of 2021 are:
- United States
- South Korea
This graph shows the population using the technology of the top 10 technologically advanced countries
The current COVID-19 situation has set a lot of things in motion. People all over the world, except those with emergency services, have to work from home. The rules of social distancing have led everyone to work within the confines of their own homes.
Technology is the only thing that has provided hope to billions of people all over the world. Not only are all business matters held online, but even personal communications are all made virtually. Computers and smartphones have become a necessary appliance for everyone.
Such dependence on technology since the outbreak makes it harder to go back to the old ways. If this continues, the world in the future would only get more technologically advanced.
Technology may have made work more efficient and faster but it has also got some disadvantages. It may have made communication easier but also created an emotional distance through a lack of understanding. As human beings, it is necessary to connect to work together more efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are smartphones banned in offices?
Employees are allowed their smartphones but prevented from using social media during work hours.
- Is working from home easier?
While the new practice of working from home saves a lot of time it also increases the workload. It is preferred by some while others have a problem getting used to it.
- Can one work without a computer?
Work is made easier through the use of computers and other appliances. A company is partly dependant on it.
- Can one be an office worker without having any knowledge regarding technologies?
Everyone is surrounded by technology in their homes as well as their offices. It is impossible in the current world to work without any knowledge of it.
- Can technology replace humans?
Technology is causing unemployment to many individuals. But it can not completely function like the human brain. So there are still subjective matters in the business world they can not work on.