Alina Birsan is the Founding Manager of AB Language Solutions, Romania, and Elia Board Member. She joined us at the XTRF Summit #online 2020 to discuss how the language industry can harness technology while making sure we don’t lose that all-important human touch. This article is based on her presentation.
This past year, as we’ve had to keep our physical distance from friends and families, we’ve come to rely on technology more than ever before. It’s been a way for us to stay connected as we stay apart. In fact, even back in 2019, as much as 40% of US couples met online. Meanwhile, according to a Gartner study, 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after Covid (compared with 30% pre-pandemic).
The importance of language
Language and communication are as vital as food and water, the bridge to our interaction with technology. They’re essential at each level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, from physiological to self-actualization. After all, language is part of what makes us human. And as technology constantly changes, we need to consider how we as humans interpret it, and how we use technology while keeping our human touch.
New ways of working
The world of work is being redefined along with everything around us and Jon Husband’s principle of hierarchy starts to get, each day, better suited to today’s working environment. This principle is actually an organizational model based on decentralized hubs and nodes, as opposed to a traditional top-down hierarchical approach. It prioritizes collaboration, trust, and mutual respect with a focus on results, empowering team members, and boosting productivity.
We’ve also seen a shift from the concept of work-life balance to work-life integration. This approach is more flexible and appropriate for our new reality of working from home and juggling multiple responsibilities.
Before 2020, organizations used to be designed for efficiency. But we’ve seen that this method created systems that were too fragile to cope with the level of uncertainty and change we now face. As a result, companies are starting to be redesign for resilience instead.
How should we use technology?
So how should technology fit into the new world of work? For a start, we need to redefine human-machine collaboration. Technology is here to help us. Automation can make us more efficient and make our lives easier. But it’s up to us to make sure that we make that happen and make the most of what technology offers us. We need to think carefully and understand what we’re doing with it, to carefully choose how we imply it in our work in such a way that the human touch is not lost, but rather, enhanced. It’s become more important than ever that we as humans adapt and stay resilient, both in the face of technology and in the face of whatever other changes might be on the horizon.
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