Understanding the Issue
Many people across the United States have been struggling to manifest the willingness to adapt to new technology in their workplace. As new generations move up the corporate ladder and automation is at the forefront of money-saving strategies used by corporations, the US workforce has quickly learned, during the pandemic, that technology adoption is a priority to maintain their job security. Whether you agree that technology growth in US business is necessary, we can all agree that the use of technology in corporate America is relatively survival of the fittest.
It’s no secret that the older a generation is, the less open-minded they are to take the time to learn and implement the use of technology. In their eyes, it’s deemed a frivolity and quite possibly an unnecessary area of time spent, as they grew up fine without it. According to Van Deursen & van Dijk, 2014, differences in generational technology use alone could only amplify societal disparities with each day that passes. These disparities are everyday stressors in the workplace, requiring more money spent on an employee’s training phase and a long time to reach productivity. The link that separates two generations, for example, gen Z and Baby Boomers, is Education. Baby Boomers didn’t grow up with a cell phone in their backpack at 11 years old or the ability to turn in their homework through a digital platform inside a computer. As many people question the older generations for being apprehensive about technology, it puts their lack of willingness to adopt in perspective as an unintentional bias. The data below is helpful to remind us how far technology has come and the vast difference of digital adoption that was necessary over different generations.
Survey Represented by Our World in Data
Turning the issue on its head: COVID19
Think of the first time you went into a restaurant or doctor’s office to realize that in exchange for the documents associated with your experience, i.e., a receipt for funds or patient paperwork, it’s all digitized over a tablet. For even early adopters, it was probably a surprising experience. Imagine feeling that way in the daily duties specific to your job, and then exacerbating them by working remotely. What used to be avoidable adoptions in the office quickly became unavoidable issues while working from home. Tech support departments were in overdrive, helping everyone comfortably but promptly troubleshoot problems and educating those as necessary. The lack of non-digital communication and task completion forced the glaring issue of digital adoption into the spotlight. Although a curveball, people who previously didn’t know how to operate a smartphone are now hosting digital presentations and have learned their company’s digital software platforms’ ins and outs. Twenty-two million jobs have been lost since the pandemic started, and the sink or swim mentality sunk in relatively quickly. Sometimes the poor circumstances are precisely what positively impact a person’s “ability” or desire to adapt and change.