Woman vs. Machine

Beautiful young adult lawyer business woman professional in a suit at the courthouse

Sometimes, there’s no substitute for the things that make us human.

 

Each day, we fall further and further behind our machine counterparts in a wide spectrum of skills. We’ll almost certainly never catch up in math, information retention, or data processing speed. And, while we’re creating new categories of jobs as a result of technology, there’s still no getting around one simple fact: machines are replacing human labor at a faster rate than we ever anticipated.

 

Luckily, the growing irrelevance of our left brain is only creating more opportunities for our right brain to thrive.

 

In fact, according to a July 2015 Fortune article, we’re still lightyears ahead of computers in a number of skills crucial to success in the workplace—including items such as empathy, storytelling, and social collaboration. What’s more, we’re increasingly finding that women tend to excel in these arenas:

“On average, women are better at many of these increasingly valuable skills than men are. Overall, they reliably score higher on tests of empathy and social sensitivity than men do. Since research shows that the best-performing groups tend to be those whose members are best at those skills, it follows that groups with a higher proportion of women tend to do better. In fact, some research shows that groups consisting entirely of women are more effective than groups that include even one man.” –Geoff Colvin, 2015

 

Since, in a lot of ways, we can look to facility management as the archetypical role for these much-needed traits, is there reason to believe that women may have an advantage in critiquing their environment? After all, facility managers must empathize with the needs of those under their watch, prioritize issues by urgency and impact on well-being, and induce solutions in the least disruptive means possible. Sensors and CMMS can offer insights, but—at the end of the day—they’re still incapable of building upon personal experience to develop heightened comfort and productivity (the bread and butter of strong facility management).

 

Despite Colvin’s noted advantages, recent discussion has turned to the ways in which women are underrepresented in dialogue about even small issues, such as thermostat settings (which, as it turns out, have been set for a men’s comfort since the 1960’s). And while most facility managers know the balancing act between personal preferences, it’s nonetheless important to enable a channel by which said preferences can be expressed.

 

At CrowdComfort, we believe the best technology is transparent—nothing more or less than a means to help people connect. By organizing these connections, we’ve developed a system that effortlessly streamlines requests to inform facility managers on how best to serve those under their watch.

 

In addition, we’ve found that open communication actually creates dramatically improved workflows for building managers who are otherwise left guessing at the right set-points for building occupants (as well as those who have experienced the headache of juggling multiple reports for the same problem).

 

The result: heightened social awareness, more comfortable conditions, and a generally improved working experience—both for facility managers and their occupants.

 

What do you think? Are women better suited to provide insights about their work environments?

 

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