There’s no denying it: technology has grown tremendously over the last few decades, and whether we’d like to admit it or not, we have grown dependent on it. It affects our daily routines, our personal relationships, and our careers in ways that we may not even realize until we examine how things have changed over our lifetime. In many respects, technological developments have made our lives, and especially our jobs, easier. Transitioning from computers to tablets, landlines to mobile devices, and postage to emails and text messages – our lives have improved drastically in just a matter of years.
The advancements in technology allow work that was once performed slow and methodically by hand to be done much faster and more efficiently at a fraction of the cost. It’s allowing people to focus their efforts on other projects and develop more creative ways to improve the job at hand. It’s clear that the technology of today has catapulted us forward at a rate unlike any we’ve seen in recent history. However, as we sprint through time enjoying all that these technological advances have to offer, we need to consider what we’re losing as a result.
It’s no secret that over the past few decades, technology and machines have been taking over what were originally person-held jobs. Printing presses, which were once a thriving industry providing jobs to thousands of people, are now obsolete, with printed material produced through a variety of machines. As recently as last year, toll booths that once provided hundreds of jobs in Massachusetts are now gone and replaced with automated sensors. As we look forward a few years, I’ll even make the bold prediction that drivers will surely lose their jobs to driverless cars. Technology is developing at such a fast pace that the reality of more jobs being taken over by machines is inevitable.
Our industry is not immune to these changes, either. Not that long ago, it took about six workers to produce an air duct. Now, with the help of machines and improved production lines, it’s reduced the necessary manpower to virtually one. In the near future, individuals won’t even need to do physical walk-throughs of sites anymore. Drones have evolved so much that they will be able to provide the opportunity for project managers and contractors to check the status of their projects from the comfort of their office. Even holograms on the worksite aren’t too far off on the horizon.
To state the obvious, technology is rapidly evolving. It’s evolving so fast, in fact, that it seems as if the human population is struggling to keep up with it. Many people are losing their jobs to new advances, yet there aren’t enough people entering science and technology fields to meet the growing demand of jobs in these fields. Technology isn’t slowing down, so we need to find ways to keep up with it. Providing our workforce with updated training on the latest technology and staying informed on what’s coming down the pike will help to keep our workforce from becoming obsolete, and allow our business to grow with the frequent changes rather than be left behind.
Joseph Bodio is the president of the Associated Subcontractors of Mass., Boston and is president and CEO of LAN-TEL Communications, Norwood, Mass.