Communication is the key to success in all relationships – business and personal. Mobile technology has made much of communication faster and easier. For instance:
- Mobile technology enables international businesses to read, evaluate, and change documents over time zones and countries
- Mobile devices allow for more targeted marketing based on where a customer is and what a customer does with their device.
- Mobile phones and email enabled devices to allow for more open and consistent communication. This means that employees can have more flexible work schedules and work remote without a lack of communication interfering with work progress.
- Technology, mobile or otherwise, has by and large has helped businesses save time and money on processes that used to be more manual and time-consuming. One of the effects of technology in business has been more automation and more data driving better business decisions.
Few Common Negative Impact of Technology on Business Communication
So while mobile and other technology have had many positive impacts on business, there is some negative impact of technology on business communication to consider as well.
1. Technology dependence
This happens in every business and industry. Starbucks implemented new technology in the early 2000s that enabled baristas to enter an order in the POS system and a sticker with the order would print so that the barista at the espresso machine would know what drink to make. Some stores reported regular failures of their system, meaning they didn’t have labels being printed and had to revert to their previous cup marking system. There was one major problem – the old cup marking system had stopped being taught to new employees, which caused major delays and reduced customer experience. Any business that has had their communication processes helped by technology faces the possibility that they will have to revert back to a previous technology or process in the case of tech failure.
2. Reduced interpersonal communication
Another negative impact of technology on business communication is that it can regularly reduce interpersonal relationships in an office. A lack of a collaborative environment can have an impact on teams. This can be because employees communicate primarily through chat programs like Skype instead of walking to each other’s desks or picking up the phone, or it may have to do with the fact that technology enables a more remote workforce and with fewer in-office meetings, it’s more difficult to establish and maintain more in-depth professional relationships.
Technology comes with many benefits, but as new technology comes along that replaces the old, that means a constant rotation of retraining on processes and software. This can sometimes outweigh the benefit of using new technology in the first place. Conversely, sometimes businesses get locked into long contracts with technology vendors that turn out not to be the best solution for their company so even if better technology is available, they are unable to utilize it without breaching their contract.
Customer, employee, and company data used to be housed in large, locked, on-site filing cabinets. Technology has made the storage, access, backup, and distribution of this data much easier, but it has also come with the cost of hacking and data breaches. Businesses who utilize technology like cloud-based storage need to be particularly cognizant of their data security.
While overall the impact of technology on business has been positive and beneficial for businesses, some has seen the negative impact as well. The negative impact of technology on business communication has touched areas of business from IT and security to operations to simple team dynamics. Being aware of the potential negative effects of technology in business can help you plan for how to manage any issues that might lead to communication breakdowns, disruptions, or delays.