Technologies are utilized to increase efficiency and effectiveness, reducing the time it takes to complete a task, provide products and services, and meet customer demands. Empirical studies generally show a positive correlation between information technology adoption and labor productivity levels (Jorgenson, 2005). de Mendonca et all (2008) found that organizations that use information technology are almost 13.24% more productive that those organizations who do not use information technologies. Organizations who used information technology heavily in the 1990’s experienced higher output growth and productivity than organizations that used less information technology (Han et al, 2011). Competitive pressures force firms to invest in new technologies, leading to industrywide productivity gains (Han et al, 2011). Without new technology, organizations will fall behind the competition, who will be able to meet customer demands faster and more efficiently than organizations who remain static and rely on past strategies to deliver products and services.
Although organizations who use information technologies show to be 13.24% more productive than those organizations that do not (de Mendonca et all, 2008), the study also shows that the level of education, stock of capital and the strategy to retain the workforce also impacts labor productivity to various degrees (de Mendonca et all, 2008). Other factors that may impact whether technology boosts productivity levels are; the size of the organization in terms of revenue and workers, the organizational structure and design, the educational levels of workers and the country the organization operates and serves in. Further research on these factors is needed to determine their impact on productivity levels. In some industries, such as retail, food establishments, and some education, technology plays a support role, adding only modestly to the value of a company’s products. Technologies Reduce Productivity
The increased demands and expansion of the traditional workplace and implementation of technologies subjects employees to more stress. Workplace stress can lead to workers becoming mentally distressed, sick, withdrawing from the workplace environment, and a decrease in self- awareness, which can all reduce productivity levels (Soylu & Campbell, 2012). Stress levels of workers can be a determining factor in productivity levels. Emotional stress has been related to job strain, tension and burnout (Soylu & Campbell, 2012). High emotional stress levels are shown to negatively impact productivity levels and cause physical and mental problems for workers. Job dissatisfaction can also increase stress and reduce labor productivity (Soylu & Campbell, 2012). Technology is meant to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Often time’s organizations implement new technologies to eliminate costs, which actually can increase the workload of employees and their use of technology, causing stress and reducing productivity. In addition, employee turnover, training and retraining costs organizations money, impacting the efficiency and effectiveness of technology.
Technology allows for organizations to adapt when workers do not perform to the productivity levels expected. The evolving world of technology allows for organizations to cross train workers, leaving workers to either perform adequately or to be replaced by technology or someone capable of operating the technology. Workers are now relied upon for their knowledge, which involves skilled mental labor that is generally information intensive. Mobile work practices and tools have altered worker and organizational demands, norms, preferences and abilities (Reyt & Wiesenfeld, 2015, p. 739). As technology replaces workers, there may be other resources to replace those workers who cannot manage the stress levels and remain productive. In the end, technology will stay and workers may go.
Technologies boost productivity by 13.24% (de Mendonca et all, 2008) and it is important for organizations to implement and utilize technology as a means to remain competitive. Workers who cannot adapt to new technology and remain highly productive will be replaced with those workers who can.
Technology is here to stay and allows organizations to remain competitive in both a macro and micro environment. Technology is used to improve productivity and quantitative studies show that for the most part, technology does improve productivity in terms of units of output (Bartel et al, 2007). As workers understand and become familiar with new technologies, as well as adapt to the stresses that come with learning new technologies, technology will most likely improve productivity levels even further. New technologies have always evolved and workers have adapted along the way. There is nothing that says workers won’t continue to adapt and get used to stressful situations that come with technology changes. Stress levels are shown to negatively impact productivity but not enough to eliminate technologies and reduce stress levels for workers.Industry News