Technology has made BYU-Hawaii more effective in dealing with employment logistics, said faculty and staff, and has the potential to save employees hours of time that would have been spent waiting in lines or searching for paper files.
Eugenia Soliai, the assistant director of Human Resource Services who has been working at BYUH for the last 20 years, said, “It was all paper ... when I started here. We had to mail applications out to people and they had to mail all their information back to us. It was painstaking to make sure we had all the information, and things [always got] lost in the mail.”
Soliai smiled when talking about the benefits of incorporating the digital aid PeopleSoft into the department. “It allowed us to free our hands up to do other things instead of being tied down to the mundane paperwork.”
According to Soliai, PeopleSoft “made the process easier and less time consuming. People didn’t have to come to the office and we didn’t have to mail out applications.”
However, now PeopleSoft is being replaced by Workday on campus, which have been using since the beginning of the year to clock in, request time off, and look at pay stubs. However, Human Resources staff said they are going to completely replace PeopleSoft’s functions with Workday.
Luke McRae, a junior who works a Workday supporter, said, “Workday has the potential to be how students apply for classes.” He claims that this process would be “easier than it ever could or has been on PeopleSoft.”
A computer science major from Arizona, McRae said, “We're starting with jobs ... so you don’t have to come in here and spend an hour at [the front] desk with a huge line. All that will be taken care of because everything will be more digital.
“The transition is going to make [work] a lot easier. I just remember whenever I did anything with BYU, I was always very frustrated. [PeopleSoft] was just not user friendly.”
McRae explained one way the school is still behind “is we still have a lot of filing cabinets.” He laughed, “You never open a filing cabinet with joy. The internet is getting rid of 99 percent of all documents that we had, which digitizes them. They’re less prone to our errors.”
Even though the plans for Workday are still up in the air, McRae is hopeful that Workday will “make it easier for everyone.” He stressed that Workday “is taking a big load off our employee specialist, which they deserve.”
But future advancements of the internet might make Workday’s implementation as temporary as PeopleSoft was. Christopher Slade, an assistant professor of computer and information science, said, “The internet has improved the efficiency in which we can do work. Processes have been automated. We can do so much more now than before with less money, time, and resources.”
Slade, while stressing the importance the internet has in all fields, said, “Even construction and labor jobs have benefited from the internet.”
Some might say having internet access in the workplace can be disruptive, but Slade said those distractions “have always existed, they are just different now. I am sure there are a few people who waste too much time surfing the web. However, before [wasting time on the web], people wasted time by talking to coworkers, daydreaming, etc.”
Slade recognized, “People have always needed a little downtime while working. Even with people wasting time, the internet has increased efficiency so much that the amount of wasted time is negligible.”
James Lee, dean of the College of Business, Computing, & Government, stressed that the internet “will continue to change the way we do business. Things that are taught in your class, especially thing to do with technology and the way we do business, will be different in two years. So things you study as a freshman will no longer be true or relevant by the time you graduate.”
Lee realizes that the internet is in constant change and “creates challenges.” Despite those changes, Lee said it also “creates amazing opportunities.”
Soliai spoke on behalf of Human Resources, “We love the internet.” McRae said, “It's going to [become] a lot simpler for us,” Slade said, “People who have failed to adapt to new technology have certainly been left behind.”
For students, Lee said no matter your decided major “you need to understand technology because it impacts virtually everything we do. You can't avoid it.”