Like in life, technology brings endless benefits when it comes to work. It streamlines our day, allows us to do more with less and connects us to others faster. In the process, it encourages efficiency, allowing us to embrace the remote work lifestyle we’ve become all too familiar with. However, when we rely too heavily on technology in work (or any aspect of life), we can often lose sight of the importance of human connection.
Don’t get me wrong. As the founder of a tech platform that drives connection and high-value transactions—entirely online—I’m 100% for and rooted in technology. However, what I’ve found after many years of diving deep into product and analyzing customer feedback and data is that technology and humanity go hand in hand. They are so interwoven and interdependent on one another that you can’t have one without the other.
The truth is that human touchpoints take technology to the next level—for both the creators and users of it. This is why we need to ensure that, as we become more reliant on technology, we don’t lose sight of the value and importance of human interaction to help systems, processes and, ultimately, work flourish.
Businesses now and in the future will need to create a balance between tech and human experience so that work can thrive and individuals can reap the benefits of this critical union. Together, this dynamic duo has the power to:
• Build trust. It is the human experience that creates trust in technology. You can have the best UI/UX in the world, but the subtle assurance that “someone” (I don’t mean a bot) is there to provide guidance creates confidence. This is especially true of platforms that are bringing complex offline processes online such as buying a car, purchasing a house or, in our case, finding an agency.
• Alleviate pressure. The option to “opt in” and speak with a subject expert puts a face to the platform and fosters “stickiness” well beyond good design or user flow when done well. It humanizes the experience and alleviates the pressure of needing to have all of the answers or finding the solution on your own.
• Develop relationships. The result is more than brand loyalty; it creates opportunities to build relationships. When tech and experts are combined, it creates community and allows for greater thinking. It also improves the user experience and your business outcomes.
• Create fresh perspectives. These connections can create new user reference points by coming at the issue or need with a fresh perspective. A user may have one viewpoint and desired outcome (predicted by tech), but it’s the human on the other end who can hone criteria to drive better results.
• Enhance personalization. With a fresh perspective, the door opens up for added personalization. Tech is often touted for this, and while tags, UTMs and pixels do a great job of “categorizing,” it can’t account for the unspoken. Having the additional layer of humans, who, after an encounter, can adjust the tech to meet a user’s specific needs, arguably drives more customized, impactful outcomes.
• Foster transparency. Putting voices and faces to “users” and “platforms” is personal and creates transparency that strips away the vague, fostering real connections. It then contributes to a more open mindset and a cycle of improvement that delivers a better product through constant interactions with the user and subject experts.
More often than not, tech makes life easier. However, where we’ll win going forward is creating opportunities for tech and humanity to live together—work smarter for each other. The future of work is one that creates an engaged and passionate community around technology that’s rooted in trust, transparency, knowledge and empathy.