This essay writes and discusses on the findings of the research questions related to “impact of ICT on working life”. The research investigation bases on the concept of asking smart questions that seek the relevant answers. This is facilitated by learning from and sharing ICT knowledge with others, and reading ICT articles sourced mainly through the internet for further knowledge.
2. What are Technologies, ICT and their Impacts?
Technologies are developed by applying knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines in science, engineering and craftsmanship combined with the right materials to create tools to help meet our daily and working lives’ objectives. Technology is a way of solving problems that makes our live easier, and extends our ability to do things which in-turn helps to develop our economy. However, not all technology development enhances lives. Weapon technology destroys lives that destruct society, and technological processes can affect our clean and green earth environment. Technology advancement evolves through the primitive Stone-Bronze-Iron Ages, the advance Scientific Age, to the current state of the art Digital Age. The term “technology” can either be general or specific as Construction Technology, Medical Technology, and Information Technology. Technology continues to evolve, with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enhanced by the Nanotechnology, being the hottest technological development in the 21st Century (Lundberg, 2003). The trend is towards energy efficient smaller, lighter, cheaper but more powerful, faster and smarter ICT facilities and machines or mobile devices.
ICT popularity such as the frequent use of mobile communication devices as well as computer and internet results in being more efficient and effective at work, but also increases the pace of work demands. Other ICT drawbacks include being ‘addicted’ and hard to ‘switch off’ after the normal office hours in anticipation of the next office messages/emails to arrive and eager to ‘work’ on it (Hughes, 2012). This can affect work-family life balance. Other negative concern includes internet technology opens up activities such as cybercrime that scam internet users into being cheated, and virus attack that can disrupt organisations’ computer network system, and even spread globally.
3. How ICT changes how we work?
ICT, the fast emerging technology since the 1990s has impact not only on how societies live, but on how business is being run. With the widespread affordable computer usability, easily accessible internet and ICT’s speed and reliability advancement, the “barriers of distance” disappear. Organisations now seize this ICT opportunity to perform better through how their organisations work. For instant to tap-in human resource with special expertise and/or in-expensive wages, businesses are recruiting contract employees that work outside the organisation premises. To illustrate, if we were to call a global airline customer service centre for enquiries, our call might be transferred to a centralised operation located in a foreign country with in-expensive wages but local call charge through cheap internet connectivity. This benefits the business due to low wages and facilitated by affordable ICT connectivity, but many people believe that such outsourcing practice will affect employment opportunities in their own local community or country. Today, the most popular uses of the ICT, facilitated by computers and internet that influence how we work are (McGrath, 2008): World Wide Web (creating or accessing organisation information, searching global business knowledge and others), Communication (emailing as alternative to postal service for immediate delivery, social media messaging that gives instant response to products or...