Does Emerging Technologies have a Negative Impact on the Quality of Life?

March 20, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-emergingtechnology

The more people engage with ICT such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and real-time messaging tools, the higher their quality of life tends to be. Yet, the more they interact with emerging workplace technologies such as wearables, robotics, AI, and ML software the more their quality of life declines.

These findings are part of Pissarides Review research which looked at the impact of exposure to emerging workplace technologies on the quality of life of workers.

In their analysis the researchers used stratified methods to understand the effect of these technologies on the workers well-being. The analysis confirms that technology exposure significantly influenceds the workers’ quality of life in both ways across demographic and occupational groups. 

“How people feel about work is important; work is a golden thread that runs through individual lives, communities and economies, binding together people’s talents, capabilities and collaborations,” said the Institute for the Future of Work in a statement.

The prolonged exposure to emerging technologies correlates with a decrease in the overall quality of life among employees which eventually carries substantial implications for policy, regulation, and operational strategies.

Therefore, these unintended consequences on workers’ physical and mental well-being due to technological shifts highlights a pressing requirement for the integration of emerging technologies to actively involve employees, alongside rigorous surveillance of associated risks and impacts, said the researchers.

“Our work and our wellbeing – individually and corporately – are interconnected, and as the future of work is impacted by new technologies, so we must pay due attention to wellbeing impacts at work,” added the institute.

It is still unclear what are the drivers, interactions and diverse impacts of technology by sector. Nonetheless, the mechanisms through which technology affects wellbeing, and how this impact on wellbeing intersects with productivity and worker retention. 

The research was conducted over 6000 workers across the UK, exploring how introducing different types of workplace technologies affects workers’ wellbeing. ‘Technology use’ encompassed digital information and communication technologies, wearable and remote sensing technologies, software technologies using AI and Machine Learning (ML), and robotic technologies. 

The report reveals the extent of variation and trade-offs in people’s experience and the implication of it across the quality of their lives.  


The HR Observer

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