The term human-computer interaction refers to the study of interactions/ activities between humans and computers. Human-computer interactions have evolved as a technological boom for every area of activity. Workplaces have benefited a lot from this interaction. This technology has increased the scope of workplaces. Virtual environments make it possible to communicate easily in a very lively manner with workers placed all across the world. The activities of the organization can be carried out efficiently at every corner of the world without any hassles.
The positive effect of human-computer interaction
Human-computer interaction has completely changed the way of working in organizations. This interaction technology has removed time and distance constraints. Today, communication can flow both sides; from managers to workers and vice-versa. Workers can now contact their superiors anytime for any queries or suggestions. The superiors can also contact workers placed in any corner of the world at any time with this technology. Managers can give clear instructions to the workers and can also supervise their work without being physically present at the place. The complete conversation can be carried out like a face-to-face conversation (Sherman and Craig, 2003).
Human-computer interaction has also helped to reduce the workers’ efforts in a number of tasks. For example, the data collection and sorting which earlier used to take a lot of time. Hard work is now done simultaneously on a separate window on the computer. All functions in any of the branches of the company situated anywhere can be recorded immediately with human-computer interaction systems. These systems also increase the efficiency and productivity of workers to a large extent. Labour intensive and time-consuming tasks can now be completed with lesser resources. It can be completed at a faster pace with fewer chances of errors. This improves the workers’ performance to a great extent and acts as a source of motivation for them.
The negative impact of human-computer interaction
As discussed above, these systems increase the efficiency and productivity of workers. This leads to the requirement of a lesser number of workers for the same tasks. This reduces the availability of jobs for workers. Sometimes the workers also become lazy and irresponsible. Most of the tasks are completed with the help of highly sophisticated human-computer interaction systems. This causes workers to not to use their full potential. They become slaves of these systems rather than assuming these as aids. Another concern is the impact on the health and safety of these workers. This is a major concern today because a large amount of exposure to these systems may cause body pains, weak eyesight, headache, problems in hearing or even deafness etc.
Also from a safety point of view, if the workers are not properly trained in using these systems and if the hardware used is not up to the mark, this may lead to chemical reactions. Poisoning effects may take place due to the emanation of hazardous chemicals and gases. This may lead to severe physical and mental disorders, leading to stress. There are also chances of a worker being totally disheartened. If the worker is not able to understand the machine instructions properly he may commit an occupational error. This may leave him highly unmotivated.
Therefore, the impact of human-computer interaction on workers can be summarized as follows:
|Increase in face-to-face communication between managers and workers.||Less need for manpower, leading to job cuts.|
|Simplified computer-related tasks.||Chances of workers becoming lazy/ irresponsible.|
|Increase in efficiency and productivity of workers.||No optimal usage of worker’s intellect. Everything is computer-generated.|
|Tasks can be completed with less effort at fewer costs.||Health problems due to prolonged computer use.|
|Safety hazards related to heavy machinery, like chemical emissions.|
|Excess use of computers may cause mental stress.|
|Chances of an occupational hazard if the worker is unable to understand/ operate the machinery.|
- Sherman W, Craig A; Understanding virtual reality: interface, application, and design, Volume 2, 2003. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, USA.
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