Toxic tech

Technology is not simply a tool for progress in today’s fast-paced digital world; it is also reshaping the way we communicate and work. Toxic tech is a darker aspect of this computer-driven world that is sometimes disregarded. This phrase describes the negative effects that tech practices, goods or cultures can have on people as well as companies.

Think about the all too prevalent situation where workers feel unable to break free from work even in their personal time, feeling glued to their gadgets all the time. This overwork culture damages productivity and job happiness in addition to causing burnout. Consider Sarah, a marketing manager who is unable to shut off and recharge and frequently checks work emails late into the night — this is an ongoing condition of tension.

 

Furthermore, biased and unequal practices within organizations can be sustained by toxic technology. Consider a recruitment algorithm, for instance, that unintentionally favors candidates from demographic backgrounds, so disqualifying competent applicants based on characteristics such as gender or ethnicity. This restricts variety in the workforce and strengthens ingrained prejudices, which stifles originality and creativity.

In addition, there is always the risk of cybersecurity breaches. Businesses are constantly under pressure to protect their sensitive data from nefarious individuals due to the increase in cyberattacks. Consider the recent data breach at a large chain of stores, when hackers obtained access to consumer data, damaging the company’s reputation and resulting in considerable losses.

 

What steps can businesses take to resolve these problems and foster a more positive technology environment? First, work-life balance must be given top priority. Promoting after-hours disconnection among staff members and offering stress management tools can significantly reduce burnout and raise morale. Laudably, legislation granting the right to disconnect was recently enacted by the Australian Senate, giving workers the ability to ignore calls, messages and emails from their superiors when they are not in the office.

In addition, creating a more equal workplace requires fostering diversity and inclusion. Businesses may unleash the creative potential of their workforces and promote diversity by making sure that different candidates are represented in the hiring process and by creating a sense of community.

Another essential step in securing sensitive data and thwarting cyberattacks is to invest in cybersecurity measures. Strong security procedures, personnel training, and frequent software updates can all reduce the chance of data breaches and lessen the harm that could result from an assault.

To further ensure fairness and minimize biases in tech-driven processes, ethical AI practices and openness in algorithmic decision-making are essential. To reduce the possibility of unintentionally sustaining discrimination, businesses should integrate varied information and conduct routine audits of AI systems.

 

In a tech market that is changing quickly, it is also critical to support employees’ professional growth and ongoing education. Providing chances for reskilling and upskilling boosts the competitiveness of the business in addition to helping individual personnel.

Finally, encouraging moral leadership at all organizational levels creates a positive tech culture. Integrity, accountability and social responsibility are qualities that leaders should exhibit to build trust and foster a culture where workers feel empowered to speak out against harmful technology practices.

 

To sum up, toxic tech poses serious problems for businesses, ranging from bias and overwork to cybersecurity risks. But companies can solve these problems and build a more positive tech ecosystem for everyone by emphasizing work-life balance, encouraging diversity and inclusion, investing in cybersecurity, guaranteeing ethical AI practices, encouraging continuous learning, and setting an example. Businesses can realize the full potential of technology to spur innovation, growth, and beneficial societal impact by proactively mitigating the negative consequences of toxic tech.

The author is the founder and CEO of Hungry Workhorse Consulting, a digital, culture, and customer experience transformation consulting firm. He is a fellow at the US-based Institute for Digital Transformation. He teaches strategic management and digital transformation in the MBA Program at De La Salle University. The author may be emailed at rey.lugtu@hungryworkhorse.com

Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2024/02/29/business/top-business/toxic-tech/1934615