Technology has fundamentally changed our lives.
Whether it’s social media, tv streaming, or food delivery apps, technology has transformed the way we live. Almost every aspect of life has become far more convenient, more effective, and more flexible.
This is especially true when it comes to the workplace. Tech provides us with powerful tools that allow us to be more productive with less effort.
The pandemic has only accelerated tech’s importance and integration. Social distancing measures meant traditional offices and meeting rooms had to be phased out, at least temporarily.
This meant that employees and professionals in almost every industry transitioned to remote work. Without modern technology, this transition would have been absolutely impossible.
Zoom meetings and virtual offices have become the norm, and while social distancing measures have eased, many workers and digital entrepreneurs want to retain their flexible work schedules.
Having proved that traditional offices and storefronts are often unnecessary, this push is hard to refuse. Remote work is gaining more and more acceptance, fundamentally altering many aspects of the workplace.
Chief among these is the way we climb the corporate ladder.
The Virtual Handshake
One of the biggest changes the workplace is experiencing is the new social atmosphere.
Prior to the pandemic and the rise of remote work, social connections happened through small talk in the break room. This interpersonal interaction was a major part of rising up the corporate ladder.
If you became friendly with the boss, the chance of you snagging that important promotion increased. While we can question whether this should be the case, the reality was that in most corporate settings, who you rubbed elbows with mattered.
And it still does, but that elbow-rubbing is more metaphorical than ever.
Now, many companies work primarily via messaging soft wares. Apps like Microsoft teams have replaced meetings with group chats.
This means that your social connection comes from fast responsiveness. Being the first to respond in a group chat is a great way to show initiative, helping you score points with the higher-ups.
Additionally, the manner in which you communicate has changed. Building a connection with your boss through humor or common interests looks very different in-person compared to over text.
Those who know how to speak digitally are at a huge advantage. This is a major paradigm shift, as now introverted people are often at an advantage, whereas before the extroverted ruled the break room.
Increased Focus on Merit
Perhaps an even greater change is the increased opportunity for true merit to shine through.
With the social component of corporate taking a backseat, tech is bringing an increased focus to the quality of the work and the qualifications of the employee when promotions come into play.
Removing the personal touch from corporate teams, while subjectively unpleasant to some, helps foster more objectivity in the workplace.
A positive result of this development is that your work is truly center-stage. People aren’t considering your personality as much as your track record.
This means those on the introverted side no longer have to worry about forcing social interaction. They can focus on their work, and as long as they excel, they’ll be equally likely to move up in their companies as their more social peers.
Tech has changed much of our lives. It’s made us more objective, more efficient, and brought about a ton of convenient innovations.
Work is no exception. The workplace has transformed in the last few years, becoming more remote and flexible.
This switch to remote work has taken much of the direct social dynamic out of climbing the corporate ladder.
Moving forward, promotions will likely be more objective and merit-based than ever before. Introverts and extraverts alike will have an equal chance at climbing the corporate ladder.