Insight Blog

Harmonizing Humanpower and Technology

Harmonizing Humanpower and Technology Rather than regarding technology as a threat to humanpower, it can be viewed as a positive evolution.
Facilities management professionals can utilize smart building elements, such as intelligent lighting, heating, cooling, and security. And they may rely on space planning software to schedule time for group or individual users, plan for specific use cases, or forecast future needs.

According to SITECH, a leading construction technology company, executives can use cameras to record every phase of a project and then compare recordings to BIM (Building information Modeling) and other 3D models as well as construction schedules to see how much progress is made daily.

Robots have been developed to perform monotonous and time-consuming tasks, such as laying bricks and tying rebar, at a much faster rate; however, humans need to supervise performance and correct any technical problems. It is possible for the two to work side by side.

Below are four misconceptions about technology and counterpoints that present a case for harmonizing it with humanpower.

1.  Misconception: Everything should be automated.
Clients within many industries, especially professional services and hospitality, value human interaction and personal support they may not find elsewhere. Therefore, implementing a low-tech approach can actually be an asset to an organization. 
During a panel discussion organized by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Chief People Officer Deanna Ong, of global investor GIC, explained that humans usually connect and empathize with clients and customers, which is the foundation of a good working relationship. Humans can—in a way that machines cannot—offer creative solutions, suggestions, and new ideas that can lead to positive outcomes.

2.  Misconception: Organizations need months or even years to implement technological improvements.
Organizations may expect the implementation of technology to take a substantial amount of time; however, the COVID-19 pandemic proved to many organizations that improvements can made quickly and still effectively.

In a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, respondents were asked about changes they have seen in their organizations and industries. In the case of many changes, they said their companies acted 20 to 25 times faster than expected. In the case of remote working, respondents said their companies moved 40 times faster than they thought possible before the pandemic. Respondents said it previously would have taken more than a year to implement the level of remote working that took place during the crisis.

3.  Misconception: Technology is costly.
While cost is always an issue when contemplating technological improvements, a leadership team should also consider the return on investment that upgrades can offer.
Providing employees with the tools to work faster and smarter will pay dividends. Simple examples include upgrading computer hardware by adding RAM or new graphics cards or upgrading software, such as paid apps or subscription programs. If a faster machine saves just 12 minutes a day, that is hour each workweek, which is the equivalent of full week of added work time in a year—per employee.

Additionally, statistics show that businesses fostering data-driven processes are 19 times more likely to improve their ROI. Advance 2000, a leading private cloud computing provider, also reports that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to convert leads and 6 times more likely to retain them!

4.  Misconception: Technology will eliminate jobs.
Technology is more likely to cause a shift within the workforce. The World Economic Forum published a report that stated technological changes could displace 85 million jobs by 2025; however, the accompanying transformation in the division of labor between humans and machines could generate 97 million new roles—a 14% increase. As the demand for additional IoT (internet of things) and AI (artificial intelligence) grows so does the need for human management. People need to program these innovations and continuously provide input in order to optimize their performance. Roles in data management, engineering, cloud computing, and product development will be in demand. Marketing, sales, and content creation positions will likely follow suit.

Depending on your organization’s industry, the technical skills employees need to do their jobs will vary greatly as new technologies are adopted. To learn more about how to assess technical skills in candidates, please contact us to connect with a Helbling search consultant.