Technology has increased efficiency in the workplace but diluted physical connections

Varun Bhanot
Varun Bhanot|

As originally published on Virgin

Technology has made us more productive and cost-efficient, but has this come at the cost of physical connections?

There is absolutely no doubt about it. Our workplace has been transformed by tech – tools that we can use to manage our office, our actual work tasks and ultimately manage our relationships with our colleagues. Tools such as Slack have meant we can now communicate with co-workers in our office without leaving our desk or using our voices. Indeed online communicators like Slack and HipChat have even replaced email with a simple and immediate interface for sending quick chat messages, documents and screenshots.

So tech has undeniably increased our efficiency in the workplace–but why talk to anyone anymore when you can have your query answered instantly online?

Tools like Satago mean we no longer need to call up customers to chase them for payments, Xero has automated the process of billing clients, Twilio has made SMS and phone calls automated too, and thanks to FarmDrop we no longer need to pop to the Sainsbury’s to buy fruit supplies for the office.




Equally, we’ve found that the idea of sharing space (coworking) has enabled physical connections to foster in ways that didn’t exist before. Therefore, while tech could be seen as pulling people apart, it could also just be seen as changing the ways in which we operate and connect.

Interested in sharing space? Browse what’s available in London. 

For example, digital marketing agency  MakeItBloom moved into the swanky coworking space WeWork on the Southbank and noted the impact it had on human relations:

“Being around super engaged solopreneurs who are pushing from the ground up forces you to want to work the same,” said Fabrice, its founder. “The best story we have is when we randomly bumped into Davids Tea when they were relaxing in the breakout space. They told us about what marketing issues they were having and we ended up winning our first client (all in our coffee break!).”

Indeed it was the personal touch that won over these customers, rather than any reliance on virtual communication.

While tech means we don’t have the same physical connections as before, this doesn’t mean these connections have disappeared altogether but rather that they manifest themselves in other ways. With the right tools and environment, physical connections can continue to develop and flourish – plus all the same technological efficiencies and savings too.

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