The Delicate Balance for Technology and Work Culture
Positive changes in the workplace are not just limited to the latest technology, nor to culture, but rather the combination. When senior management changes the culture, perhaps by adding meditation or promoting a health challenge, it doesn’t make more or less hours in the day. And the work a job requires doesn’t go away when a company updates its technology. However, these advances when combined add more worth and value to a company, and in turn encourages employees to work more efficiently and to stay on top of their health and wellness.
A recent study from Deloitte found that while executives believe strategy is significantly more important [than culture], employees find the two to be almost equal. Especially for a company where younger employees are involved—technology isn’t just viewed as a productivity tool, but also a personal tool that contributes to daily life. Technology drives better communications between employees, which leads to more meaningful work. Keeping employees happy and engaged is the simplest and most cost-effective way to keep productivity, employee retention and a company’s success on the rise.
Culture, defined as the “behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group,” reflects the attitude and goals of an employer. According to a 2011 report from Pew Research Center titled, “Americans and Text Messaging,” working millennials under the age of 25 send approximately 110 texts every day on average, which works out to mean they receive about 30 messages while at work every day. In response, an employer might initiate rules and policies for text messaging, but this could quickly turn into a work environment that comes off as too stiffening and strict.
On the other hand, the 2014 Deloitte survey noted a trend of overwhelmed employees in organizations—as a direct result of information overload and the always-connected lifestyle of its employees. This addresses the importance for companies to promote a healthy work-life balance and embrace a culture that seeks to stay connected with technological advances, while encouraging workers to take care of their health, mediate, embrace physically exercise, and make the right food and wellness choices to balance the everyday stresses of work and technology.
Younger employees want flexibility, mobility, freedom and connection, and technology helps them to evaluate whether a potential employer will be the right employer. A company’s IT investment and policy reflects the overall company value, attitude and environment. Technology after all isn’t just a productivity tool—it brings corporate values to life.
And at the end of the day, technology is just a tool which can have positive or negative effects on an employer’s work culture. It’s important for businesses to have a clear roadmap for emerging technology, especially as millennials continue to enter the workforce and eventually become the majority. Habits that encourage collaboration and efficiency have a lasting impact on the overall work culture and should be fostered by employers. Apps such as ActiveSoul help employers promote health and wellness, while ensuring a higher success rate for wellness programs initiated by employers, due to its flexibility for employees and user-friendly experience.
“Strategy and Culture: Working Together?” Forbes.com
“How Technology Impacts Work Culture,” Forbes.com
“How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other,” Huffington Post