The impact of technology on every aspect of our lives is undeniable. Let’s look at the positive and negative impacts of technology on business, starting with the negatives.
Negative Impacts of Technology on Business
1. Generates Massive Amounts of E-Waste
Over 40 million tons of e-waste is generated each year, and just a fraction of that number is recycled. Businesses go through electronics equipment much faster than consumers, whether it be commercial electronics from their production facilities or office electronics from their brick-and-mortar locations.
Given the ever-increasing demand for electronics in the business world, the amount of e-waste generated is predicted to rise by 8 percent each year. The good thing is 100 percent of this e-waste is recyclable. Sadly, only a fraction of companies who really care about the environment use an e-waste recycling company like All Green Electronics Recycling to make sure all of their electronics are properly recycled.
2. Always-Connected Culture Leads to Faster Burnout
Between email and messaging apps like Slack, it’s possible for business teams to communicate at any time of the day. While this does wonders for productivity (as we’ll discuss), it has blurred the lines between clocked-in and clocked-out. Many employees are expected to answer emails and messages from superiors the moment they are received.
In this sense, technology has made it much harder to disengage from work, which has lead to employees burning out quicker than ever before. According to a Gallup poll, a total of 64 percent of employees surveyed reported feeling some level of burnout.
3. Digital Communication Can Lead to Miscommunication
Many of the more subtle aspects of a message are lost through text. You can’t hear the person’s tone of voice when they’re sending you an email. This makes it easy to misinterpret the meaning of text-based communication.
Video communication is better than text, but many nonverbal signals are still lost. Miscommunication between team members is now more likely thanks to technology.
Positive Impacts of Technology on Business
1. Remote Work Significantly Expands the Talent Pool
Thanks to technology in business, it is possible for entire business teams to be virtual. Businesses are no longer limited by proximity when making hiring decisions. Everyone can truly tap into a national, and even global, talent pool.
Utilizing remote work also helps businesses cut down on overhead costs, as it reduces the need for large offices in multiple locations.
2. Technology Makes Real-Time Communication Possible From Anywhere
While messaging apps that make real-time communication possible were already mentioned as a negative, the truth is they also have an extremely high upside.
Real-time communication lets business owners and executives stay plugged in to everything that’s going on with their team. It lets them put out brush fires before they consume a whole forest.
3. Software Exists That Exponentially Multiplies Human Capabilities
The final positive impact of technology on business is it allows us to achieve things at a scale and pace humans simply aren’t capable of. There is client-relationship management software used by most businesses that allows them to keep track of thousands and thousands of customer profiles.
Our market research tools collect more data and organize at a level old-school marketers could only dream of. There are hundreds of digital tools out there that benefit businesses.
To wrap it up, the reality is technology has had both a positive and negative impact on business. How you let it affect your business team is entirely up to you.