The war being waged on technology

droneWith the recent announcements that Yahoo and now Best Buy are not allowing employees to telecommute, it seems some people simply refuse to keep up with technology of work. It looks like top executives are resisting, and not in the noble motion picture kind of way where humans have to fight off evil robots. Humans, and dare I say older humans, are waging war on keeping up with technology. Young people like me are not the ones in power to make these kinds of decisions, and they definitely are not resisting new advancements. It creates new and better jobs for us, in fact.

Not everything changes

There is a big distinction I must make first with fighting technology itself, and resisting the speed at which it is changing. Companies embrace new technological advancements everyday – technological devices are all Best Buy sells. What these companies and their executives seem intent on doing is keeping the work environment as close to the Industrial Age as possible.

Cell phones, computers, cloud computing, tablets, and new mobile devices allow you to be everywhere and work from anywhere. Everyone’s jobs have gotten much more productive and more pleasant because of the technology that is available to us. But what has not changed at all is the 9 to 5. I don’t mean our jobs haven’t gotten any better, I mean the actual 9 to 5 work hours have not changed. In a world that operates all day and no city really sleeps anymore, people are still expected to commit to the same eight hour work day with very little flexibility. The world does not stop at 5, yet that’s when we stop getting paid.

A war on two fronts

We go into the office in dress clothes or business casual attire. Of course more formal attire is a sign of status, yet everyone knows we wear jeans or sweats on any other given day. Even still, the average office will be lined with dress slacks. Now take a peer into the window of startups run by…ahem…twenty-somethings and they are in casual tennis shoes and t-shirts. This is where the age distinction is relevant. I would never assume that everyone thinks the same way, no matter someone’s age. I am saying there is a generational divide and a war is being fought on two sides. There is a conservative culture trying to get people to conform back to traditional work environments and a more liberal way of addressing – or undressing the workplace.

People are outraged with the Yahoo decision, but do we take the outrage far enough? What is it that we are resisting? Is it the technology, the conformity, the change simply because it is change? Some people think it is ridiculous that Yahoo and Best Buy believe their employees work best from an office or a cubicle.

Is it not just as ridiculous to think that a tie and dress shoes are going to make a worker more efficient?


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Categories: Future of work, Leadership

Author:Kevin Jordan

Kevin graduated from Stanford in three years and is a contributing writer for The TIBCO Blog. Graduating from a engineering-focused university, Kevin quickly developed a passion for technology and its role in business. Still continuing some of his other creative ventures as well, he enjoys doing stand-up comedy and professional acting. Appearing on the Disney Channel and performing on stages from Las Vegas to the Bahamas inspires him to continue entertaining through written word, on comedy club stages, and on television screens. Bridging his creative ambitions and technical curiosity creates the balance he strives for.

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4 Comments on “The war being waged on technology”

  1. Georgette Suggs
    March 11, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    I enjoy reading your posts Kevin. You’re a young guy who seems to have a good head on your shoulders. I’m not quite an old person and not quite a young person so sometimes I fall in line with what you have to say and sometimes I don’t.
    The dress code at work topic is a good one. I like to dress for work. I feel that it affects my attitude and behavior and I believe it does for others as well. However; I also believe there is a time for sneakers and t-shirts.
    My feelings about the way I dress are a lot like my feelings about the music I listen to. It all depends on my mood and/or the task at hand. Sometimes I listen to classic country, sometimes jazz, sometimes rock and others indie…. From high heels to sneakers and everything in between, it just depends on what needs to get done that day. Sure would be nice if our offices were as flexible as our radios.

    • March 11, 2013 at 11:05 am #

      Hi Georgette! Thank you very much for your comment and kind words! Age is a state of mind marked by one’s own personal experiences so I appreciate differing opinions. I love the music analogy because I completely agree. I am pretty eclectic when it comes to my music choices and it is this kind of variety and option that is missing in the workplace sometimes. Sometimes I would rather dress casually on Monday and perhaps wear a tie on Friday.

  2. paullabelle
    March 11, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    I think fundamentally Yahoo!’s and Best Buy’s decisions were motivated mostly by business imperatives that underscore their market weaknesses: Yahoo! is using this tactic to downsize without having to pay out severance as remote employees quit, and Best Buy is just another retailer that, as a group, treat employees with little or no respect and is trying to survive. They also have followed bad PR advice, apparently, if they think their customers will admire them for such ridiculous decisions.

    • March 11, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Thank you Paul and I agree with you. At the heart of most (if not all) business decisions there is an issue with saving money. Whatever the bean counters think will help, even at the expense of their employees and innovation, is “best for the company.” Unfortunately decisions like these (wrong or not) have unexpected consequences and give momentum to a stiflingly traditional workplace.

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