Emails and social networking

Is Modern Technology Taking over in the workplace?

In recent years, it’s becoming more likely to have mail in your email inbox than in your letterbox. With the internet taking over, is it for the better?

According to recent studies up to 75% of a company’s property can be recovered through email. All emails are recoverable, so you can delete them but it still can be found as easily as in the recycle bin on your desktop or the recipient may have already forwarded it on or printed it. With such options as to CC someone without the original recipient knowing, how safe are our emails? On the other hand, when the system is not abused, emails can be fantastic! Without the wait on the postman or the cost of the stamp it is by far the more efficient method of transferring information. Emails in the workplace have its distinct advantages such as:

  • Employees can be informed of missed messages when out of office;
  • Employees can be more contactable when out of office;
  • Many recipients can receive the one same email at a time;
  • Cheap and timely;
  • Important emails can be easily stored, filed and shared;
  • Better for the environment as only important emails are printed.

But also holds disadvantages:

  • Lack of non-verbal communication (tone, gestures etc.) mean that the messages can often be misinterpreted;
  • Can be easily sent to wrong person;
  • Work emails being used for personal conversations.

Aside from emails, companies now have options to make life a lot easier and convenient.  A meeting can be had without all members attending via Video Conferencing. Participants can be at separate sides of the globe but communicate as if in the same room without the travel hassle or expense. Large companies can also create their own Intranet.  This enables work files to be accessible and edited by a selected number of people.  Information is easily transmitted and news can be communicated.  Instant Messaging (IM) is also an effective means of communicating amongst employees.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instgram and My Space have been known to cause significant problems in the modern workplace.  Many employers have opted to block access to social networking sites on their server or to issue disciplinary actions to those caught using them during work hours.  Sites like these have been known to slow productivity in the workplace with workers mindlessly spending long periods of time on them and completing little or no work at all.  Another issue that has arisen, employees have used their social network site to slander their job/boss/workplace publically, often when caught (depending on the severity) have resulted in the dismissal of the employee.

Many would struggle without the use of search engine sites such as Google or Yahoo.  With one click it gives an instant pool of knowledge and resources which potentially saves hours of time researching.

With the typewriter and rotary telephones truly a thing of the past, is it for the better?   Yes.  I think as technology has developed, on the whole, it has improved our experience, efficiency, and competency at work.  Now I eagerly await the magnificent inventions which will take over in the next decade.