Workplace Technology & Automation But Please in Moderation #HUMANVSMACHINE

This week on Blogging4Jobs, we are focusing on the theme Man Versus Machine sponsored by 1 Page Proposal. Automation versus cognitive thought. Within this world of social media, social recruiting and HR technology, it’s easy to get caught up in the cool, the fads and the next big thing. But, at the end of the day, we cannot forgot that it’s people that really make social media initiatives kick ass. To follow the entire series make sure to bookmark our Man vs. Machine category for all the latest blog posts.

This morning I woke up early enough to hear my Roomba motoring its way to my kitchen where I used my Kerig to make me my favorite cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee.  In an hour my pool machine cleaner will motor it’s way to keeping my pool crystal clean but not before I checked in on my iPhone and sat down to write this blog post on my laptop. All before I actually had a real, human conversation with someone other than a machine. My daughter is still curled up sleeping in her bed so that whole human conversation thing will have to wait.

Is the Human Element Overrated?

As I rewarm my daughter’s warm milk before we start our day, I’ll whisper lovely nothings to my gadgets, including my microwave, confident that my car will get us where I need to go. When you stop to think about it, our reliance on technology, mainly machines, to assist us in our daily lives, seems absurd. I can easily work from home for an entire day without having any personal or individual interactions, which eliminates the need for humans and replaces them with a lot more machines in my daily life.

It’s one of those occasions when I can genuinely function without interruption and effectively, even yet no interpersonal interaction is still acceptable and in fact not at all healthy. That is, until you send me a tweet, which causes my phone to beep and inform me of. Not only do machines increase our productivity, but they also give rise to instances in which our productivity is reduced. Additionally, while I’m on Twitter, I should definitely check the other of my social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, just in case I missed something. Social media’s dark hole and the pointless diversions brought on by technology have robbed me of an hour of my life.

And while I get up to have the Kerig whip me up a second cup of Java, I admit the importance of machines helping me to elevate my work and life. Admitting the obvious I guess is the first step, but the real challenge lies not in choosing to use small appliances to help me jump start my work day, but more importantly the choices I make when not to use the technology.

These choices are disguised as movements like the 4 Hour Workweek,  Candidate Experience or #HackingWork. They are campaigns created simply to drive awareness to what we already know. And that is that human interaction elevates all things. It creates a clear differentiation that makes the individual, the business and the brand unique. It makes us distinctly human. It makes us human beings.

The Power to Choose What Workplace Technology & When to Use

Want to know the secret to boosting output and developing a work atmosphere that values culture, innovation, and creativity? It starts whenever you decide. Choose to start your day with a fresh outlook by fostering an excellence-based culture or put away your smartphone in favor of catching up with a coworker over a glass of wine and some tapas.

You can decide to stop receiving automated emails when a candidate application is received or automated out-of-office messages. Make the decision to combine a behavioral interview and selection process with big data and technology. Even better, decide to set up weekly one-on-one meetings with your team instead of relying on the productivity tracking software you gave your remote and at-home workers.

What are you choosing to do today?

Special thanks to this week’s theme sponsor, 1 Page Proposal. Learn more about their revolution of Human vs. Machine by clicking here or by visiting the hash tag on Twitter #humanvsmachine.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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