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The Value of Balancing Humanity and Technology in the Workplace

ByLynette Reed,
business.com writer
|
Jul 05, 2017
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> Business Basics
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Your organization can fracture over time and lose long-term stability without balance.

Finding a balance between humanity and technology is like maintaining a well-oiled machine. A machine runs efficiently when all the parts work in sync with the other parts. A mechanic maintains the machine, and the machine, in turn, helps with the work. It is a dynamic relationship.

Without the health of both the machine and the human element, your organization can also fracture over time and lose long-term stability. For instance, small fractures occur when companies overwork and underpay their employees. Fractures can also happen when technology is misused or not maintained. These fractures weaken the organization over time. When you keep a balance between humanity and technology, you reduce the fractures.

In recent times, scandals such as Enron and Exxon offer prime examples of how breakdowns occur. When you value the balance between humanity and technology, you can also create an environment that acknowledges how your organization integrates into the broader business world. Understanding your relationship to the world helps you make better decisions about how to connect with other companies, which makes your business work more efficiently. An essential thread runs through your business and into the business world.

It's easy to lose awareness of your tie to the world and put on blinders in an attempt to make more money. You can also become so focused on the daily work that you forget the value of maintaining balance. Santo Costa, in his book "Humanity at Work," suggests that each business works from a genetic code that identifies what the company believes and how the company does business. This genetic code is the driving force of the enterprise. The genetic code does not set the goals or objectives for your business, but rather helps form an intentional and active set of behaviors into the organization. The behaviors determine what role both humanity and technology will play in the life of the company.

Consider these benefits when determining the value of balancing of humanity and technology for setting the genetic code that drives your business.

Humanity

  • Connects people in ways that interweave collective knowledge
  • Encourages a team atmosphere that creates a more integrative process of work
  • Helps individuals find value in their work, thereby improving engagement
  • Identifies a wider variety of activities to integrate by seeing the bigger picture

Technology

  • Boosts your ability to work more effectively and efficiently 
  • Gives you more flexibility in the workweek 
  • Improves connectivity of people and space
  • Increases your ability to complete work through apps and software

The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute has created a new measure for identifying this human experience as it relates to the emerging technological cognitive era. As computers advance, they offer individuals better data and a wider range of solutions to problems. This emerging era appreciates the intersection between people and technology as the two become even more integrated into the genetic code of your organization. Individuals and machines work more collaboratively than ever to achieve goals. Computers generate data and help solve problems in new ways. Humanity shifts into a different relationship with the machine. The value of balance between humanity and technology is even greater as this new era develops into the established system of business.

Enterprise has moved from a time when the trade of goods changed from barter to money, with goods and services then shifting from artisans to industrialization. Today's society continues to be a changing landscape as people and technology integrate even closer together in the workplace. Sherry Turkle suggested in her book "The Second Self" that technology is creating change not only in what we do but in how we think. Computers change our awareness of ourselves, of one another, and of our relationship with the world.

As computers play a new role in how we think, the relationship between people and technology will also change the work environment. Employees will want different options for the look of their workweek. Technology may begin to look more like a partner than a machine. Work could be from any place at any time if the technology supports the situation.

The goal of finding balance may center on the search for innovative ways to make these new machine relationships improve employee satisfaction so that individuals continue to feel connected to the workplace and other employees as they change the environment. Christian Fisher, in his article "How to Enhance the Quality of Life in a Workplace Environment," references a study from Northwestern University, which suggested that employee satisfaction is directly linked to customer satisfaction, which is directly linked to a company's financial performance. This study continues to support the idea that happy employees, with freedom through technology, can improve your economic success.

When you consider activities that help create this balance, it is beneficial to look for ways to make your employees feel valued and offer stability. Try to create a comfortable company. For technology, you can become knowledgeable about the new trends. Consider the best ways to integrate that new technology into the skills and interests of your employees. Be open to new ways to work.

Finding the balance between humanity and technology within your organization can be an asset to the success of your organization. The goal is to become aware of new and innovative ways to do business, show care for your employees, and create a balance that enriches the success of your business.

Lynette Reed
Lynette Reed
See Lynette Reed's Profile
Writer, researcher, and facilitator with an emphasis on human potential for personal and organizational development. Dr. Reed has mentored people from a variety of organizations to include businesses, not for profit organizations, schools, allied health agencies, Chambers of Commerce, governmental entities, and churches. She has taught courses on world religion and world cultures and also continuing education courses approved by the American Planning Association for ethics, HRCI, and team building/leadership training sessions approved by the Texas Education Agency for continuing education of teachers, superintendents, and school board members. Her current literary contributions include an executive summary paperback titled, Fixing the Problem, Making changes in how you deal with challenges, as well as some book contributions, articles, and guest radio appearances, and a series of children's books with Abingdon Press. She is also a founder and board member of the Institute for Soul-Centered Leadership at Seton Cove. Her academic background includes a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality, Sustainability, and Inter-Religious Dialogue and a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
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