Does better connectivity come at a price?

Technology is changing the world and whilst there are benefits these can come at a price. Guest blogger, Sally Phillips, looks at the issues of our increasingly connected world.

As a software company, we know the value technology can bring to the world. And here at BrightHR we’re dedicated the developing software to help small businesses look after their most important assets, their people. But whilst technology can have huge benefits it can sometimes come at a price. Guest blogger, Sally Phillips, looks at just some of the issues of our increasingly connected world.  

 

There is no denying that smartphones have simplified life as we know it. There are myriad tools and apps that provide all the levers for business owners to pull, in order to make their operations successful. Furthermore, according to research nearly half of small businesses are expected to adopt mobile apps by 2017. This could be great news for productivity, however, it could also be detrimental to work-life balance; it’s important that we start to consider the effect ever this growing connectivity has on all parties concerned.

Social media vs easy work access  

A recent study proved that when it comes to work there is an increase in stress levels when web-enabled phones enter the equation. What’s surprising, however, is that the stress is only related to personal matters. When smartphones are used for work-related applications stress levels aren’t affected as much. Even though the phones are initially required for work purposes, the stress levels only peak when the device is used for personal reasons, such as keeping up to date with your social networks.

Another factor that could increase stress levels when workers are exposed to new technology, is the fear of not learning how to use it within a reasonable amount of time. This could be particularly stressful for older people, who are uncomfortable with the fast pace of technology. Proper training initiatives will allow this process to progress seamlessly and afford everyone with an equal opportunity to manage their stress. In this way, numerous negative consequences of stress can be avoided.

With the clever implementation of smartphones within the work environment, business owners can capitalise on the benefits. Staff members who are empowered to do their jobs well are far more efficient than those who have to constantly overcome accessibility issues.

Embrace various employee styles and technology applications

A recent article revealed that businesses have up to five generations of staff working for them. The same article also conducted a review of a different management strategy employed by RICOH, in an effort to create a better staff experience. The company embraces a New Ways of Working (NWoW) philosophy that encourages various means of communication and customised access for different types of staff members. This means that generation gaps will not have an impact on the engagement with staff.

This use of technology could create an easier platform for staff members to engage with each other and their management. Furthermore, platforms grant business owners with the means to engage and educate at different levels. Some of the newer technology that allows business owners access to their staff include chat services that provide a platform for the entire staff, project management tools, and much more. These platforms can often be managed and accessed through mobile apps too.

Smartphones and work-life balance

For a business owner, high-pressure situations often lead to sleepless nights, especially if a deal or document needs to be sent and delivered before a specific time the following day. The smartphone alleviates this stress by providing the sender and the recipient immediate access to this information. Emails and important messages allow consumers to finalize situations before they even enter the office the next day. This means that the owner has the ability to prepare for the next day and ensure staff members are up to speed as things happen.

However, this does need careful management. Owners need to ensure work-life is respected, and immediate access to employees doesn’t necessarily require them to respond immediately.

 

The New Workforce - System

What does the future hold for connectivity and the workplace? Download the latest BrightHR guide - The New Workforce - to explore the future of workplace and how effective communication requires more than just technology.

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