Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Effect on Those in Work

The Effect on Those in Work

Computers are being introduced more and more into shops2

FACTS

1 Computers are being introduced more and more into shops.

(a) Large shops and shopping chains are introducing point-of-sale terminals .

(b) Some small shops are introducing microcomputers. Stock control and accounts are then done by computer. The sales staff have to be trained to use computers and computer terminals.

2 There has been an increase in the use of automation and or robots in industry More people are working at keyboards and consoles and fewer on production lines.

3 In offices more and more people spend a large part of their working day sitting at a VDU.

(a) There is a widespread use of word processors. This affects not only those ho formerly used typewriters such as secretaries and typists. Because it is easy to correct work on word processors many people who are not trained typists use them if a typist is not available.

(b) Increasing numbers of staff at all levels have a VDU on their desk. This may be used for information retrieval, electronic mail or just for accessing diaries to arrange meetings.

ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST OFFICE AUTOMATION

For

1 The advantages of using VDUs far outweigh their disadvantages. No health problems have been proved to have been caused by VDUs. Most of the ailments suffered by VDU operators are not caused by the VDUs themselves but by the way they have been set up. Attention needs to be paid to lighting, seating, etc for VDU operators. Most VDUs have shielding to prevent radiation affecting operators.

2 Use of VDUs increases the amount of work done by each operator. The work produced by word processors is more accurate. The output is of better quality.

3 Computer systems can be used to monitor employees. A word processor can record the number of keystrokes per hour. A POS terminal can monitor the rate at which an operator keys up sales. In this way bonuses can be given to those who work harder.

4 Operators can produce good quality work with relatively little training.

Against

1 VDUs may affect people's health-users of them suffer from tiredness, discomfort, eye strain. The monitors produce harmful radiation.

2 Because operators can produce more work with a word processor they are expected to get more done. Managers often expect too much of the new technology. Because they know that mistakes can be easily corrected people handing work to be typed are not so fussy about whether it is correct. They thus waste more of the typist's time than before.

3 Using a computer to monitor employees is an intrusion. They feel under continuous pressure if the machine they are using is checking up on them all the time.

4 Word processors can take away the skill that typists had in preparing documents. Operators take less pride in their work.