Aurangzeb soharwardi - HUMAN Resources Management (HRM) is just taken as a routine corporate activity which has set and fixed fundamental procedures. This has resulted into reduction in employee productivity and performance, more employee turnover, lack of research, development, innovation and creativity, more issues of work place ethical and discipline issues, more legal suits and so on and so forth. Besides this, another phenomenon has emerged very rapidly, which has transformed the whole HRM landscape, and that is the invasion of technology and digital revolution. It has not only affected the organisational structures production processes, management system but also has changed the human physiology and sociology in a substantial way. It has posed a very serious challenge of how to effectually manage such human resource which is tech savvy, surrounded by gadgets, with a total change in the life and the working style. The introduction of mobile phone technology, telecommunications, internet, E and M commerce the physical space is shrinking and the cyber and the virtual space is increasing. As discussed by James E. post, Anne T lawrance and James Weber in their book Business and Society, “Technological change, which tends to be self-reinforcing, has wide spread effects throughout business and society. Some of these effects are beneficial and some are not. Technological growth is fueled by economic expansions. Computers are changing the procedures for the meetings that results in corporate decisions. Instead of asking a group of employees to sit around a table and discuss a problem, some organisations hold “virtual” meetings in which the interaction takes place through computers. Participants express their ideas simultaneously and anonymously and comment on one another’s work. Anecdotal evidence from organisations as diverse as hotels, banks, plastics companies, and aircraft manufacturers indicates that virtual meetings are shorter and less stressful. Leaders are able to stick to an agenda because employees do not digress or waste time at the computer to the extent they do in person. Electronic brainstorming the generation of ideas by group during a virtual meeting has been found to be more productive than traditional face-to-face brainstorming. Laboratory research with undergraduate and MBA student subjects in the United States of America supports the usefulness and productivity of electronic brainstorming for group of up to 12 participants. These groups were found to generate more unique and better ideas than did traditional face-to-face groups or nominal groups (the same number of people working alone whose ideas are then pooled) (Gallupe, Cooper, Grise, & Bastianutti, 1994; Valacich, Dennis, & Connolly, 1994). With very small groups (up to three members), a significantly greater number of ideas was produced by face-to-face meetings. However, there was no significant difference in the quality of the ideas generated by the computer mediated or face-to-face groups. Communication by computer may lower the social inhibitions and status barriers present in face-to-face groups. High-level managers tend to dominate group meetings as well as informal conversations. However, one series of studies showed that high-status group members continued to dominate group discussions whether conducted via computer or face-to-face (Weisband, Schneider, & Connolly, 1995).

Computers can force changes in the organisation’s informal structure by disrupting traditional lines of communication and power. For example, in companies where workers have side-by-side work stations, they communicate freely and easily about work-related and personal matters. Where such jobs are automated, workers are often separated by partitions that inhibit talking and socialising. Reducing the chance for personal interaction reduces the group’s cohesiveness. Even though workers have found ways to use their computers for informal communication, this approach lacks the closeness and the privacy afforded by face-to-face contact. Also, many companies routinely monitor the messages on their internal e-mail system, an action that discourage its use for promoting the personal and social interactions necessary to maintain group cohesiveness.

Along with the loss of group cohesiveness, increased computer use on the job has led to employees growing sense of isolation, both on and off the job. Instead of being able to walk in neighboring office or down the hall to consult with a colleague in person, you can ask your question without leaving your cubicle and thus without any meaningful personal contact. Instead of gossiping around the water cooler, employees are chatting online. Even lunch breaks are at risk as growing numbers of employees rush back to their computer terminals rather than visit with co-workers or run errands. A survey of 1000 employees found that 14pc ate by themselves at their desks so they could log on during their free time (Fickenscher, 2000).

The ideas once shared during informal gathering of employees or generated and exchanged during spontaneous meetings are being lost, along with the opportunities to network and build social support. This situation is especially true for the millions of employees who work at home. Many of these telecommuters spend their entire workday connecting with other people only by electronic means. A study of 169 people in 73 households during their first 2 years online found that as internet use at home increased, communication with family members declined. The size of the users’ social network also declined. Frequent internet users rated themselves as more lonely and depressed than did people who spent less time online (Krautt al., 1998).

Another very serious and significant trend is excessive use of mobile phones and texting. The employees, irrespective of their gender, are involved most of the times using cell phones even during work. To cater for such distracting activities has become a very challenging task for all managers, particularly the HR Managers. The whole scenario translates into Environmental psychology which is concerned with the impact of these workplaces features on employee behaviors and attitude. In the landscaped office employees are grouped in functioning units with no floor-to-ceiling barriers. Light distribution and glare must be considered in designing illumination for work spaces. Noise in the work area can lead to deafness and to physiological effects such as increased muscle tension and blood pressure. Color is a useful coding device and can create differing illusion of size and temperature and improve the aesthetic appearance of the workplace. Some employees like music on the job, but research shows that it does not influence productivity. Optimal temperature and humidity ranges have been established for different kinds of workplaces. The comfort level of a workspace also depends on humidity level and air circulation. Temporal working conditions include the number of hours worked and how those hours are arranged. Much scheduled work time is lost to unauthorised breaks. To conclude, it can be analysed that in the contemporary era of digital communications and IT, the employees are less focused with lower levels of concentration, more mechanical with downward emotional graph, Increased hyper tension with physical ailments, eye sight problems, hormonal inbalance and many other issues. Therefore the new HR policies must be evolved by keeping all these factors .For their implementation, the HR Managers must also contemplate on the basis of these emerging trends, affecting the employees.

                 ( The Writer is head of Lesco)