We’re happy to feature an article from Wendy Dessler. She shares our passion for making the tech world more human and relationship oriented. 🙂
Innovations in technology have created incredible opportunities for development and growth in the business world. However, technology is often referred to as a double-edged sword, and for good reason. In business, this is primarily because of the perceived reduction in humanity in the workplace.
So how can a business find that ideal balance between humans and computers to create a positive workplace culture? Here are three ways to create a human workplace in a technological world.
Use the Technology for Good
There’s a lot of fear surrounding the word “automation” as it pertains to business. In the past, automation has replaced human workers, particularly in the manufacturing sector. However, for workers in a business setting, there is often plenty of work to go around. Furthermore, not all of the work that people have to do in the run of a day is of high value.
Consider scheduling, for instance. Scheduling can be a time-consuming process that can’t be ignored, but also detracts management from dealing with other issues. The distractions from the task at hand can ultimately cause mistakes and stressful delays.
By using smart scheduling software that not only helps generate a schedule based on trends and requirements but also streamlines the payroll process, can cut hours off this process (to learn more about this software, check it here).
Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions
One of the significant challenges in creating a positive, people-centric organizational culture in a technical world is encouraging face-to-face interactions. Instant messaging and email have made communication convenient while removing the skills of reading body language and inflection. That’s one of the reasons why unintentional arguments break out over text messages, and so many people feel comfortable sharing hateful thoughts online.
Remove the crutch of technology when it comes to communication in the workplace. It’s estimated that people spend more than two hours a day checking email. In other words, during the average work week an entire day is spent emailing. As a result, some organizations are introducing email free times, during which the email system can’t be accessed. If someone has a question or concern, they must either call or visit the person with whom they need to speak.
Cloud technology has made cutting back on emails far easier, as people can access a shared folder from anywhere. By removing online communication in an office setting, people are encouraged to connect on a human level.
Prioritize Health and Wellness
In recent years, health officials have been sharing the adage “sitting is the new smoking” due to the detrimental effects the 9-5 work day has on one’s health. As a result, there’s been an insurgence in standing desks and other tools to make the office more interactive. Now more than ever, employers have an obligation to promote health and wellness in the workplace.
Employees who know that their employer cares about both their physical and mental wellness feel more engaged and productive in the workplace. Additionally, health challenges and group activities also double as a way to encourage socialization and strengthen workplace bonds. For example, entering a fundraiser race or walk-a-thon allows employees to get moving, interact with each other, and support a great cause.
Organizations can start small, by removing vending machines full of junk food and instead offering a complimentary basket of fruit at reception to be used for snacks. Using the available technology to remind workers to get up and stretch their legs once an hour is another simple way to blend technology and humanity. Finally, scaling up to perks like gym coverage initiatives and office health and wellness challenges will improve engagement, activity levels, and morale.
Put People First
The key takeaway when trying to determine how to create a more human workplace in a technological world is to put people first. Treating employees with respect and showing them that the organization values their efforts goes a long way in creating a positive workplace environment.