Evolving Technology and Its Impact on Business: The Extinction of Real "Face Time"

man and woman sitting at table with coffee staring at their smartphones instead of conversing

By: Katherine Konrad, Marketing Project Manager and Celarity Guest Blogger

I walk into work at 7:30 – OK, fine – 8ish, on a Monday morning to the hustle-and-bustle of Corporate America. I hear heels clicking, smell coffee brewing, and see people … looking down at the floor? Wait, no – they’re holding something in their hand. Light is emitting from the top of this object and casting a bluish glow across their face. They seem quite taken with this object; Not even stirred by an intrusion of their personal bubble space. Believe me, I’ve tried. And, no it wasn’t weird; it was research.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m either pretty bad at being descriptive or you’ve been living under a rock. I’m talking about a cell phone or, rather, technology as a whole. The evolution of technology has made a significant impact on how we do business today – for better or worse.

More Flexibility, Less Balance

On-the-go technology gives more flexibility in the workplace. Technology is why I can go into the office at 9 …ish. It’s also why an overflowing inbox can be tended to at 2am on a restless night. Similar to this behavior, some companies have experimented with a “work wherever, whenever, as-long-as-you-get-your-stuff-done” mentality. Officially, that’s what they call it. This type of working environment gives self-starting employees a sense of autonomy and management’s trust. It also blurs the line between work and personal time which arguably makes it difficult to take breaks and recharge. And by recharge – I don’t mean your iPad, silly.

More Wifi, Less Connection

We’ve come a long way from a deal made over a handshake and a smile. Today, business transactions are often formed over the glow of a laptop’s screen and cracking the Wifi password (Try, Pass123). But many might not realize that a hook up to the Internet isn’t always the most important type of connection. Face-to-face connection in the workplace is so important for fostering innovation, collaboration, and client retention. Even above video-conferencing, in-person meetings have been proven more effective at building trust and a sense of a shared mission.

Get Your Head out of Your Apps

Though some might consider their relationship with their phone to be “pretty serious” — sometimes, you need to downgrade from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” and replace phone time with organic, human quality time.

Try looking up when you’re walking, and smile at someone you pass. Not only will looking up invite an endorphin-releasing networking opportunity, it will also prevent you from walking into that pole, or oncoming traffic. Set up coffee meetings and keep your phone on silent, and in your pocket. Even if your phone is placed face down on the table in front of you, you’re not only showing signs of phone addiction (what!?), but you’re also sending a subconscious message that says you’re not enjoying their company.

Rumor Has It

It’s been said that any publicity is good publicity. But I say, in today’s technological climate, any publicity is widespread publicity. Social media platforms like Twitter, and Facebook can make your business, everyone else’s business too, in a matter of minutes. In this day in age, Public Relations and Project Management departments need to have agile, efficient teams assembled and ready to do damage control if and when fire is – in fact – set to the rain.  

Brick and Mortem

As technology advances, so wanes brick and mortar-type commerce. Technology today has trained consumers to be used to a high standard of immediacy and convenience: two things e-commerce has been able to deliver – in addition to your toilet paper within hours, am I right? Moral of the story: keep up with technology, or you will be D.O.A. (dead on arrival) in the D.O.W. (Dow Jones).     

Celarity is a staffing and recruiting agency specializing in placing talent where marketing & creative meet technology. Watch for more posts like this one in our blog section or sign-up for our bi-weekly Scoop Newsletter and get the most recent posts sent straight to your inbox!

Katherine is currently a Marketing professional at Target, and an aspiring copywriter. She lives in a messy studio apartment in downtown Minneapolis.

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