Technological advancement has had a lot of impact on how man communicates and performs tasks. The most significant impact of technology is that it has globalized the whole world making the globe to be a small village in terms of communication and work. This research paper examines how technological advancements have impacted the workforce within the period of the last twenty years (Karwowski, 2001).
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Impact Of Technological Advancement in the Workforce
The effects of technological advancement on the workforce can be divided into two premised on the fact that arguments are supporting it as having a positive effect and that there are certain arguments against it (Timings, 2004). Starting with arguments for it, technological advancement is seen as an improvement of productivity at the workplace; it has increased the efficiency and effectiveness of employees (Rea and Kerzner, 1997). For instance, the use of computers has increased the rate at which products are produced and also enhanced coordination amongst employees within a workplace (Hassanaly, 2006). It has also enabled virtual supervision to ensure that every task is being performed by the same person (Chadwick, 2001). Moreover, the advent of computers has created new jobs. For instance, database managers are employed to manage the data of a given organization (Rosenberg, 2004).
Internet technology has made the workforce not necessarily work from the office; workers can now from anywhere so long as there is access to the internet, for instance, the preparation of reports can be done and submitted online (Davis, 2008). Furthermore, individuals can now work from home without having to travel to their offices or places of work. This has greatly reduced the cost of operations within companies and other organizations. Computer technology has also led to improved customer relations through the establishment of computerized call centers that enable the customers to get in touch with the relevant departments within a given company or organization. It is also notable that the offices used are also becoming smaller and smaller since hard files are being faced out.
However, technological advancement has not pleased everybody; it has been considered to have come with lots of challenges to the workforce (Lambert, 2003). The advent of computers has led to automated production which has reduced the number of required manual labor (World Bank Publications, n.d). As a result, this has reduced to a loss of jobs as many people are getting laid off because their tasks have been taken up by automated machines. Machines are viewed as basically designed to replace human beings from the lines of productions to increase output within a short time attainable. Besides, communication through emails and phones has led to the loss of human-to-human contact amongst the employees. This has made their social life at workplaces limited; the workers are only alone at their stations from morning to evening. This is said to make life more boring than ever.
Those opposed to advancement in technology posit that the use of technology has relegated human beings to subordinates; they only play the roles of assisting the machines along the production line and can be rendered unnecessary at any time (Scharff, 2003). Again, the use of advanced technology has led to the demand for a more specialized workforce; this implies that individuals have to be computer literate and possess more technological know-how to be employed by the companies and corporate organizations using automated machines. This has been said to be an obstacle to those who cannot afford to meet the cost of acquiring the newly emerging knowledge on technological advancement and hence, many people who may have the skills to work but lack proper technological knowledge lose out in the labor market.
It is also argued that advanced technology has led to the loss of privacy at the workplace. Some corporations and companies are monitoring their employees through CCTVs. This has ensured that everything and every move by the employees are being watched the whole day. It, therefore, follows that many amongst the workforce do not have privacy as pertains to what they engage in at the workplace.
Technological advancement over the past twenty years has been perceived to have both positive and negative effects on the workforce. On one hand, it has been seen to enhance productivity at the workplace (Hassanaly, 2006). The use of computers has made work easier for employees; they can work effectively and efficiently and hence increase output at the workplace. On the other hand, technological advancement has been seen to disadvantage the workforce in that most people are losing their jobs because their tasks are being taken up by computers and automated machines. Human labor is no longer relevant along production lines. For example, the production of automobiles is well programmed such that at every stage of production every appropriate part is fixed by an automated machine. Some fears should the technological advancement continue, so many people will have no jobs to do as machines and computers will have taken their place of work (Scharff, 2003).
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