Get the best tips for your career, job search and your life. Subscribe today (we send one email every 2 weeks)

The Future of Work: Adapting to Technological Changes in the Workplace

future of work Apr 29, 2024

In the workplace, technological change is inevitable. According to Flexera, digital transformation is a top priority for 74% of businesses.

However, with those technological changes come challenges-everyone impacted by the changes must adapt.

Unfortunately, change can be difficult for anyone in the right circumstances. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to take steps to aid that adaptation, both for employee well-being and for the bottom line.

🔥 FREE TRIAL: Get Started with LoopCV & Send Out 100s of Highly-Targeted Job Applications in <10 Minutes

Why is New Technology in the Workplace Challenging?

Everyone handles change differently, but some expected challenges show up for employees whenever businesses adopt new technologies. Some of these include:

  • Disruption of the standard daily workflow
  • Fear about being let go from the company for failure to learn new technology
  • Worry that work demands will increase
  • Additional stress, frustration, and worry caused by the changes

Workers like to feel like they have some control over their experience and that they are good at what they do. Learning new technology can be difficult and does not happen automatically. Employees’ fears are well-founded because it is possible for someone to fail to adapt to changes in a business and be let go because of that failure.

Fortunately, there are also proven ways to ensure that employees learn and adapt successfully.

Ways to Adapt to New Technology in the Workplace

Humans are made to adapt, even if it is hard at times. With the right approach, employees can steadily gain confidence and integrate new technology into their workflow. Some of the most effective ways to make that happen include:

Acknowledge Feelings and Concerns

Whether it’s managers expecting employees to just “push through” or employees thinking they need to squash their feelings to get by, ignoring emotions is a bad idea.

Human emotions are there whether they are wanted or not, and do not go away because they are ignored. When they are ignored, they can lead to further problems.

Businesses and employees should strive to acknowledge whatever feelings come up with the change. Those feelings don’t have to dictate actions. Once they are acknowledged, it’s easier for people to see things objectively and choose the way they react.

Establish Reasons for the Change

Businesses usually have very good reasons for wanting to upend the way things are done now by adding new tech in areas like recruiting and hiring, or areas like marketing.

However, they are not always good at conveying those reasons and letting employees have input on the process. It’s helpful if businesses communicate the reasons for making the change, how the change will help the business, and ultimately how the change will benefit the employees.

Ideally, businesses should notify employees as soon as possible, get feedback, have discussions, and provide a gradual onboarding of the new tech and processes surrounding it.

Technology can make things so much better, whether it’s in the medical field, the workplace, or at home. But it can also be intimidating if people don’t understand why they should use it.

Develop a Sandbox Environment to Encourage Participation

Sandboxes are a tech concept that focuses on creating an environment where people can try new things and fail without consequences.

Having employees show up to work and expecting them to use new technology when their success or failure impacts their job is a recipe for serious stress.

Instead, businesses should create a sandbox environment where employees can play around with the new tech, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes.

Identify Different Learning Styles

Seven different learning styles encompass the way humans learn. Each person tends to have the most success with the right mix of styles that work for them. It’s helpful to know what each person’s preferred styles are so that training programs can be targeted to those styles.

The seven learning styles are:

  • Physical
  • Solitary
  • Visual/Spatial
  • Verbal
  • Auditory/Musical
  • Social
  • Logical

Provide Multiple Styles of Instruction

Having multiple options lets employees pick and choose what seems most appealing to them.

It also gives them a chance to approach the technology from multiple angles, over multiple sessions, to create deeper layers of learning.

Additionally, knowledge sharing among employees can significantly enhance the effectiveness of these training programs, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

Offer Support for Mental Health

Getting mental health support can be difficult for an individual, much like finding a doctor.

It’s more efficient and helpful for an organization to source mental health support, especially for a short period, such as what would be needed for adopting a new technology.

Having mental health support available and encouraging employees to take advantage of it ensures that everyone can express their feelings and get help processing those feelings.

It’s an efficient way of moving through the expected internal resistance that most people experience when making changes at work.

Train Mentors

Having other employees that can help with the transition is extremely beneficial. Some employees will likely be excited to learn the new technology and willing to engage in more in-depth training to gain expertise, enhancing their skills through upskilling.

Once they are experienced in the technology, they can assist their coworkers in the learning process. This provides an additional layer of assistance to the group, one that is more approachable than some less familiar sources, and one that can continue to provide support long after the training classes are over.

Provide Incentives

A useful way to gain volunteers for mentoring, and to encourage general participation in learning the new tech, is to offer incentives. Knowing that there are rewards for engaging in additional training can be motivating for some.

In the right situation, employers can even pay for certification programs for employees in the new tech as a way of encouraging participation and engagement.

Employers and Employees Can Partner in Tech Adoption

Everyone has some worry about emerging technologies and how they are going to affect their lives.

While employees can often assume that employers are eager to grab onto the next big thing, the truth is often more complicated. Businesses like to keep doing what works, just like employees. But sometimes, the need for adopting new technology is just too compelling.

By working together, employers and employees can help each other adapt to the ever-changing world of technology and work. That way, all parties benefit and no one is left behind.

Megan Isola

Megan Isola, a Cal State University Chico grad with a knack for hospitality and marketing, isn't just about books and business. She's all about living life to the fullest. You'll often find her jamming out at concerts, exploring new food spots (she's a total foodie!), or hanging with her crew, making memories and cracking jokes. With Megan, it's not just about the degrees— it's about the experiences and the people that make life awesome.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.