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How has technology changed the way we work?

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Many of us reading this blog will remember when we relied solely on the postal service for written communication, when a customer ‘database’ consisted of an entire room of filing cabinets and when the term ‘surfing’ involved a board and a few choice waves.

Technology has transformed the way we work – especially in the work place. We now live in a digital age, with technology impacting almost every element of our work.

Here we explore some of the main ways our workplaces have changed since the early 80’s:

Meetings
Way back when, a business meeting usually involved travelling miles to go through items that you could probably cover over the phone. Then, with the introduction of conference calls, people were able to communicate with the whole team at once and travelling to a face-to-face meeting every time was wasn’t as necessary. Now, with advancements in technology such as video conferencing, Skype, and software like WebEx that allows you to ‘share your screen’ with the viewers, face-to-face meetings are becoming increasingly redundant.

Working from Home
With the introduction of flexible working and technological advances in areas such as cloud computing software and file sharing, many SMEs are offering their staff more flexibility when it comes to working from home (WFH).  As we covered in our previous post, WFH has its advantages, and with many businesses implementing software and tools that can monitor your employees work, such as Worksnaps – which takes a snapshot of your employees screen every 10 minutes - and My Sammy – which makes a graph of what your employee has been doing while working from home – it can be an easy process to manage.

Green Office
No, we don’t mean that someone has gone a bit wild with a paint brush and a nice tin of jade paint. Exploring ways to reduce carbon footprint, encourage environmentally friendly work processes and ultimately cut costs, are now key areas of focus for most small businesses - but this wasn’t always the case. If we look back to even only a decade ago, there was little thought to the impact of printing hefty documents, keeping large paper-based filing systems and recycling waste. The last ten years technology and implanting systems such as pull printing and eco-boxes (a simple cartridge It’s a simple cartridge collection and recycling service that we operate on your behalf), has brought about a change in the way many businesses work, implementing systems to encourage an environmentally efficient work space.

Social Media
Ever since the likes of Facebook and Twitter took the internet by storm, businesses everywhere have worked to take advantage of the variety of social channels available to help communicate with peers, colleagues and customers. Now business-to-business advertising via these channels offers a great opportunity for organisations. LinkedIn, for instance, allows you to target based on not only company, company size, business type and location – but you can show ads and articles to only executives of a certain level (all paid for of course).

Social channels have also offered outlet for customer service complaints and this is an issue that has affected businesses far and wide. Managing that process successfully is key to marketing success.

There is much more to say here but technology will never take the place of two things: personal contact and timeless business ethics and values.

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