Over the years technology has become more and more accessible to the general use; its benefits have influenced all the aspects of our lives and shaped the way we carry on with our everyday activities. However, for every generation, technology has its own meaning and each one interacts with this tool under their own terms. It doesn’t matter if one likes it or not, technology came to stay and is an intrinsic part of all our interactions, people usually focus on the damage it does to our personal lives but nobody seems to notice that today it is virtually impossible to perform any task without a techy gadget.
Thirty years ago, technology was not as present in the workplace. When one pictures an office environment from those days, employees were buried in a mountain of papers and the common thing on the desk was a typewriter. Today, when one pictures an office environment, the main gadget on the desk is a computer that most likely is connected to the internet. This has simplified the operative aspect of most jobs, which has led to a modification in the job descriptions. I have worked in the recruitment of people for different types of companies, and for every single office position the candidate is required to have at least basic computer skills, no matter the size of the company or what their trade is.
Furthermore, technology has changed the ways companies interact with each other and with their clients. Now, there is no need to wait for the answer of a letter or try to book the time for a phone call between two head managers in different companies. Thanks to technology one does not even have to be at the same place to have a meeting, it is more and more common to have videoconferences and make important decisions more efficiently. By having all this tools, the structure of companies itself has changed. We are now globally accessible; a company can provide service to clients abroad and even have the supervisors in a different country. I had the opportunity to work for a worldwide enterprise; I was based in Santo Domingo but the customers I provided service to were from the entire west Caribbean. Location was not a big barrier, I was able to communicate with customers through emails, phone, and video communication, hence, the distance was never a factor that prevented me, or my coworkers, from providing a top-notch service. Moreover, we were five people in the office and our immediate supervisor was located in Miami, and visited only once a month.
Yes, technology has brought big and amazing changes to the corporate world, the way to do business and general job performance and requirements. However, like most medicines, it has noticeable downsides to its use. For instance, we have become extremely dependent on it. When in an office, most of the tasks depend not only on the computer but on the internet or specific software that enables us to work. In most cases, if one of these fails, the job cannot be performed. One time the internet failed at the company I mentioned above, and even though I had a significant amount of work to do and deadlines to fulfill there was absolutely nothing I could do until the telephone company restored the internet, and it is extremely frustrating to be in that situation. Technology also is responsible for the loss of jobs, not only because specialized machines can replace manual work, but also because enterprises realize that due to the benefits and advancements in communications, they do not need an office in every country or region, they can easily outsource and handle operations from just one place relying in the benefits of living in a world where technology makes everything more accessible.