Technology in the workplace essays


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The two cabins were carefully dismantled and moved from their original site in Montana, and they are meant to express a rejection of all things mass-produced. While the off-hours activities of Wall Street workers are famously decadent, only recently did a particularly luxe corporate office become a perk of working for this particular successful sector of the economy. Even Eames and Aeron chairs — signal artefacts of office luxury — were originally utilitarian by design. The Aeron office chair was initially designed as comfort seating for the elderly, while the iconic Eames task chair, now often crafted for executive boardrooms in soft leather, was originally designed in mesh to withstand weather outdoors.

These classics ushered in the mass construction of the corporate office as a space of modular repetition, where identical workspaces can be positioned in a tight pattern on an open floor.

Tech aesthetics

By the s, the model of the closely packed office space full of rectangles — from fluorescent light fixtures spaced at regular intervals to the desks similarly arranged below them — was standard. Status was symbolised not by the decor of the open-plan office floor but by the enhanced luxury of private offices, where executives could provide Mad Men -like hospitality with the help of leather sofas and fine whiskeys. For the average employee, the 20th-century office was not meant to be a full-service, unique destination like the swank tech offices of today. Instead, it was designed to be a uniform environment that was as easy to set up and work in as it was refreshing to leave.

The Effects Of Technology In The Workplace

In the first decades of the 21st century, however, the corporate office has been quickly transformed from a predominantly functional space into a more ornate, individualistic environment, dedicated not so much to work as to promoting personality and social status.

Indeed, the well-designed office has become as much an accessory to a high-end, high-tech lifestyle as a luxury car or a fashionable outfit. Twitter frames art depicting iconic Twitter user content, such as the Oscars selfie posted by Ellen DeGeneres, which was shared more than 2 million times. T he trend towards office design as an expression of employee taste began after the dotcom crash, when tech companies auctioned off all of their Aeron chairs and ping pong tables, which had come to symbolise tech-office playfulness.

As a result, tech offices of the early s tended towards a more sober utility, meant to reassure investors of their restraint. It took a new generation of companies to renew the playful tech aesthetic. This latest trend can be read as an attempt to disguise work — with trimmings that suggest personality in place of the smooth, ordered humming of a corporate workforce. Both represent a complete renovation of the space, making graffiti and log cabins not in themselves luxurious seem like high-end amenities. Any splinters you get from these textures is a small price to pay for the tactile, pre-modern feeling of a place that is otherwise devoted to the collection of ethereal data.

Short Essay on Technology for School Children - High School

It is this very need to represent high-tech luxury at the same time as invoking its opposite that drives the modern baroque of early 21st-century tech offices. The effect might be spare, but the luxury of this office is that it can have it both ways — along with craft beer on tap and the original art on the walls, it looks like the home of a wealthy eccentric. Of course, the remaking of the contemporary tech office into a mixed work-cum-leisure space is not actually meant to promote leisure.

Work has seeped into our leisure hours, making the two tough to distinguish. And so, the white-collar work-life blend reaches its logical conclusion with the transformation of modern luxury spaces such as airport lounges into spaces that look much like the offices from which the technocrat has arrived.

In these lounges, the blurring of recreation and work becomes doubly disconcerting for the tech employee. Is one headed out on vacation or still at the office — and is there a difference? If the reward for participation in the highly lucrative tech economy is not increasing leisure but a kind of highly decorated, almost Disneyland vision of perpetual labour, what will be its endgame?

Or we might see a return to a vintage business aesthetic, a brushed-up version of a s Hilton business hotel, refreshing and newly cool in its squareness.

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Technology in the Workplace Essay -- communication, efficacy, productivi

Or maybe the office itself might become obsolete, if the work-from-home revolution ever takes off in earnest. One can imagine a trajectory where design stops trying to blur work and leisure, and instead works to strenuously demarcate the two for workers who have forgotten how to leave work behind.

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Maybe then the workspace of the future will come full circle, by transforming into a deluxe version of the Action Office cubicle. To be sure, there is progress in AI, including in machine learning, but these are still and will remain discrete capabilities, not general recognising fraud in financial transactions, for example. This relates to the second important issue: the pace of change from the technologies. But if this happens over 10 years, it surely would mean a much faster rate of dislocation. But past long-wave transformations have taken at least 30 years to work their way through developed economies.

There are three reasons for this relatively slow pace. First, new technology systems do not emerge fully formed. Early versions are less advanced than later ones. We say this with the electric motor in the early s, where it took decades for improvements in power, price and quality to enable electric motors to be transformative. Going forward we will likely see this pattern in autonomous vehicles.


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The best and quite expensive current autonomy technology is at what is referred to as level 3, where drivers are still necessary for many functions. Level 5 cars that are affordable — where the human can go on a long, complicated trip asleep in the backseat — are decades away. Second, even though new technologies are better than old, old technologies are usually not completely scrapped, at least until their value is significantly depreciated.


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Trucking companies, for example, will not suddenly toss all their expensive semis in the junk yard. Third, not all organisations are first-adopters. Some adopt early, most adopt in the middle after the technology is de-risked, and the rest late. Notwithstanding that the next wave of innovation will not be unprecedented, there still could be negative impacts that policymakers need to prepare for and seek to mitigate. Most importantly, the next wave will raise productivity growth rates. European productivity has been growing at anaemic rates for years, and in the UK it has virtually ceased.

But this does not mean that there may not be some negative impacts from the next wave of innovation. However, most of these fears are unwarranted and the main one, job dislocation, can and should be addressed by smart policies. Let us start with unemployment. Yet academic studies, historical data and logic all suggest that increased rates of productivity growth will not lead to higher unemployment Atkinson and Wu ; Miller and Atkinson If anything, higher productivity growth in nations has been associated with lower rates of unemployment. This added purchasing power is not buried; it is spent, and that spending creates new jobs.

So, the bottom line, absent ill-advised policies such as universal basic income to pay people for not working, and higher unemployment from the next technology wave will not happen Atkinson Even if unemployment rates will not rise, many ask whether the new jobs from the next wave will be good ones. But for two reasons this is not the right question to ask.


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First, the new jobs created will be largely related to how people spend their new added income, which will likely be on things like education, personal services, hotels and other lodging, entertainment, insurance, air travel, new cars and trucks, and major appliances. Some of this will create good jobs eg education , others not so good jobs eg personal services.

Second, rather than fret about what industries and occupations are growing and shrinking, policymakers should focus on raising productivity.

A Primer on China’s New White Paper

That some jobs pay more than others is because they are more productive. Therefore, the most important question regarding the mix of jobs is whether the next innovation wave will raise productivity. It will be even better if the next wave raises productivity more in lower-wage occupations. If it does, there will be relatively fewer workers employed in low-wage occupations and the wages of everyone, including the remaining low-wage workers, will increase. In the US this would allow the tasks these workers currently do to be performed by just That means 7.

Because the prices of goods and services produced by low-wage workers would fall, this spending would be distributed in the same shares as it is currently, with So too would all other workers because the real prices of goods and services supplied by low-wage workers would now be lower. So even with the growth of Uber, Airbnb and other work-sharing platforms, in only about , people were employed this way.

There is no reason to believe that self-employment will grow in the future see Arnold et al. There is no doubt that income inequality has grown in Europe and the US, although by considerably less than Thomas Piketty would have us believe Rose But very little of this growth has been from occupational changes driven by technology.

Essay Response — Score 5

The Economic Policy Institute finds that inequality did not increase because jobs in middle-wage occupations were eliminated by productivity gains Bivens and Mishel Rather, virtually all the increase was within occupations, with some individuals making winner-take-all incomes at the expense of other workers in the same occupation. It is important to realise that this had nothing to do with technological productivity and everything to do with socio-political factors. To take an example from US pro basketball, income inequality in the National Basketball Association NBA did not grow because technology eliminated middle-skilled players, it grew because of political economy factors, such as the introduction of free agency that allowed the LeBron J.

This growth in earnings inequality has nothing to do with productivity. But this pattern of automation would actually reduce, not increase, inequality. These workers are in jobs that require fewer skills than they possess, presumably for most of them because there are not enough high-skilled jobs in the EU economy to employ them. If the next technology wave has a larger impact on eliminating low-wage jobs, this would by definition mean that a greater share of jobs would be in middle and higher-wage employment. And many European workers now in low-wage jobs have more than enough skills to move into these jobs.

More fundamentally, even with robust minimum-wage levels and tax-based redistribution measures, it is extremely difficult to raise significantly the after-tax income levels of people working in low-productivity, often low-skill-level, industries for the simple reason that wages cannot exceed the output of the worker. This positive outcome depends on relative price declines from automating low-income jobs so that demand for goods and services grows.

Owners of capital will somehow no longer have to compete on the basis of price and will be able to make exorbitant profits, immiserating the proletariat. While unemployment will not increase from the next wave of innovation that does not mean that there will not be modest or even significant rates of businesses disruption. Just as internet platforms today are disrupting a range of industries, including private transport, retail, lodging, and telephone and cable TV, one could imagine and hope for emerging technologies disrupting even more industries.

For-profit businesses, big or small, are more than happy to reap the profit upside of success, but are all too quick to run to government to protect them from the downside of competitive loss. Progressives should focus not on protecting companies from technology-based disruption, which fundamentally helps consumers, but on helping workers make transitions to new employment.

Uber, Lyft and other car services are a case in point today. Too many governments want to protect incumbent taxi companies at the expense of consumers who benefit from better and cheaper car services. It is important to note, however, that — at least in the US — the rate of labour market churn defined as jobs created in occupations plus jobs eliminated in other occupations has been at an historic low over the last two decades Atkinson and Wu But as the next wave of innovation boosts productivity that rate is sure to increase somewhat.

technology in the workplace essays Technology in the workplace essays
technology in the workplace essays Technology in the workplace essays
technology in the workplace essays Technology in the workplace essays
technology in the workplace essays Technology in the workplace essays
technology in the workplace essays Technology in the workplace essays
technology in the workplace essays Technology in the workplace essays

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