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Work Tech: Friend or Foe?
Anne Beck /
/ Categories: Blog, Smart Workplace

Work Tech: Friend or Foe?

Have you ever found yourself bewildered, unsupported, or betrayed by technology? Whether you are a tech enthusiast, skeptic or somewhere in the middle, it's impossible to dodge the lure and throes of smart technologies. Workplace technology aims to assemble tools, systems and platforms to facilitate operations and enhance productivity; however, without proper knowledge and training, even the friendliest technology can be intimidating, risky and fall short of our expectations. 

Navigating the waters of workplace technology isn't just about mastering the tools at your disposal; it's about developing a relationship where technology empowers rather than encumbers. By approaching tech with a mindset geared towards learning and adaptability, employees and organizations alike can transform potential pitfalls into powerful allies, ultimately redefining the way work is done for the better.

No matter where your office may be, you're likely to have a relationship with tech. And, like any good relationship, an alliance with technology requires commitment, patience, trust and a whole lot of give and take. 

Embracing the Friend

Successful organizations prioritize positive work environments where employees feel supported and empowered to do their best. Optimized technology promotes connectivity, security and ease of use. The cooperative exchange between the user and technology generally improves when the benefits of engagement outweigh the mental gymnastics required to initiate something new. The key is fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.

Implementing strategies to promote knowledge, ongoing training and autonomous learning can elevate the user experience, enabling organizations to embrace change and maximize the benefits of work technology. 

Confronting the Foe

Toxic relationships are mentally draining and leave us feeling nervous and unsupported. We may even begin to accept the situation and stop expecting anything better. It's easy to default to a path of least resistance when our cognitive workload has peaked. Still, there are risks and downsides to being tech-averse, resisting change and ignoring common organizational challenges like cybersecurity, personal information management, dependency and downtime, and technological complexity.

Developing a roadmap will determine a starting point and blaze a trail toward achieving a beneficial work-tech relationship. Tiny steps are fine, the key is to continuously move ahead. A 2021 article in the Harvard Business Review, How to Build Digital Dexterity Into Your Workforce, mentioned "…digital dexterity as one of the keys — if not the most important workforce skill — needed to prosper." Yet, according to Zipdo, 68% of Americans faced some form of "tech frustration" daily in the same year. 

Fast forward to 2024, and the trajectory is on point; reliance on digital constructs has escalated, and the necessity to strengthen cybersecurity has only intensified. 

Moving Forward

We all have grievances regarding tech in the workplace, and daily frustrations come with the territory. Don't let incompatibility, complexity or lack of knowledge and training create fear or cause disparity. Promote growth, pursue deeper expertise and proactive solutions that guarantee better outcomes. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer – implement strategies to defend against sophisticated cyber-attacks, facilitate change and get the most out of your technology.

Bill Gates famously said, "The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." 

Work smarter! Find a friend in tech with a trusted advisor at Sharp Electronics Corporation and discover a simply smarter workplace.


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