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Technology’s Impact: Behaviour Changes & New Ways of Working

How technology changes our lives has been a constant topic over the years, and although we usually focus on how these advancements make our lives easier, the real impact is technology’s wide influence on our thoughts and behaviours, which drive meaningful change that echoes far into the future.

In the next few years, we’ll be experiencing an unprecedented amount of technology change to our personal and working lives, and this change is likely to involve real innovation that will affect us on a scale we’ve not yet seen. Significant alterations in our behaviour, driven by technology, will continue to increase.

Here’s an example of this radical change.

Throughout 2014-15, academics at Cambridge University conducted a study which investigated effects derived from the Police Force wearing body cameras attached to their uniforms. Throughout the trial, about half of the officers wore a camera at any given time. Researchers tracked the amount of complaints in comparison to the year prior, and calculated a 93% reduction in overall complaints.

The interesting thing is that there was not a statistically significant difference between the number of complaints received by officers wearing a body camera and those who weren’t. In fact, we are led to believe that repeated exposure to the body cameras affected a behaviour which continued to ripple even when cameras were not always present.

New ways of working

In the Police Force example, the new technology invoked behaviour changes within several parties, but beyond that lies the impact to their ways of working.

The decreased amount of complaints frees up endless hours of time in dealing with administrative duties, reducing the related stress and helping police and the public get on with their business. By embracing new ways of working with technology, the Police Force has solved a problem that benefits both them and the general public. Furthermore, all of this achieved with technology that already exists, simply redeployed to a new purpose.

This is just one example of the scale of people change and result of technology integration we expect to see across the working world over the next few years.

Many fear that as technology advances, their jobs will be in jeopardy. However, as we can see from the Police Force example, technology isn’t necessarily replacing jobs, but enhancing them and their influence on others, both individuals and communities. This isn’t to say that certain transactional jobs and processes won’t be automated and replaced by machines, but the key takeaway is the opportunity to intertwine and connect with technology in new ways.

What about HR?

When we think about innovation and technology within HR, the key opportunities also lie in the freed up time we have after allowing transactional tasks to become automated. That time can now be spent in solving many of the problems that HR is tasked to manage, as well as initiatives such as business objectives, employee learning and development, and more.

As some of you may know, this year’s theme for myHRcareers is innovation in HR and as the last myHRparty of the year is quickly approaching, we’re excited to be discussing forward and future thinking about how technology will change our lives. Please join us at our upcoming networking party where we have guest speaker Ravi Chand discussing his experiences of the requirements and impacts of technological innovations on the workforce, and share the concerns, questions, and challenges that all HR leaders are facing.


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