In our open all hours global working world, do you ever wonder if perhaps the technology that is supposed to be bringing us closer together is inadvertently creating a world that is instead becoming more isolated?
As Database Administrators (DBAs) technology enables us to work and meet our responsibilities effectively from almost any location in the world. From omnipresent email access (BlackBerry and the like), to the ability to administrate global infrastructures. This locational freedom is certainly not exclusive to DBAs and is becoming more common throughout the workplace.
Speaking with Data Professionals in the community, it certainly seems that more and more people are now regularly working remotely. As our dependency on the office as a hub for all things work dissipates, so too then it seems does our physical interaction with others.
The Hidden Road We Have Already Taken
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a huge advocate for all things technology and of the flexibility and empowerment it has brought forth for the modern working professional. It has certainly had a positive impact in my role as a DBA. The benefits are clear for all to see and yet I wonder if perhaps there is also another more subtle theme at work amidst it all, a path that we are unwittingly being led down. In our evolving world of work we are becoming more integrated on the one hand and yet more isolated in real terms on the other. Allured by technology that is ever increasing in efficiency, value and reward.
These trends certainly look set to continue into the foreseeable future. With a global economy increasingly focussing on reducing business environmental impact, more and more people will find that their world of work is no longer centred around the “traditional” office workspace.
How Close is Good Enough?
Technology has made us more accessible to each other on a global scale, giving the illusion of a world that is a smaller place but are we really closer to one another?
We’re certainly able to communicate and work on a level that was previously not possible but what about the quality of our interactions? Irrespective of the communication medium, it will always be of a lower grade when compared to real world in person interaction. This is obviously not a revelation but the point is of vital importance nonetheless.
I think that if not careful we can become so accustomed to using a particular technology in order to communicate that we inadvertently accept the quality of these interactions as adequate or suitable, when the alternative may in fact provide significantly more value.
Consider some of the working relationships that you have with people and how you use technology to enable them. What if you were able to have that same interaction face-to-face and in person? Do you think it would be more effective? Do you think the quality of relationship would benefit?
Make Relationships a Priority
So just how important are relationships in the workplace then, particularly as we become more isolated from one another in our interactions?
Taken from a recent article in the Financial Times: Leadership depends on keeping it real
I wonder whether, in the excitement of an MBA programme, we really help students to understand that ultimately, it is in the creation of meaningful and authentic relationships that their future as a leader lies?
Very important then it would seem, if the foundations of business teachings are refocusing to target this very subject.
The takeaway point that I would like to leave you with is this, as Data Professionals the more we invest in nurturing the quality of our relationships the more fruitful they become. Take some time to look at your existing work relationships and consider whether “good enough” is really where you want them to be.
I find discussions of technology and how it affects our world as we move forward very interesting! I’d love to know what you think, so do please share your thoughts and comments below.
I touched very lightly on a number of much larger subjects regarding the world of work in this post. If the future of work is of interest to you then I highly recommend you take a look at The Shift: The future of work is already here by Lynda Gratton. It’s a fascinating read and came to my attention through a recommended reading list recently published in the Financial Times. If your serious about your career and managing where you want to take it then this title will almost certainly appeal to you.
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