Thinking about technology
Twenty five years ago, when CBS was born, office equipment was all about typewriters and calculators. Now, the PC, email and the internet brings us speed, flexibility and access to information that we couldn’t have imagined back in the early ‘80s.
The explosion in technology does have a downside, however. Too much information can be as difficult as too little – and who hasn’t suffered from email ‘inbox’ fatigue? Advances in technology mean we can all work faster and often makes us available 24/7, which may not bring the business advantage we may think. Establishing deadlines is important but basing these on what is reasonable, rather than what technology allows, is crucial. Allowing extra time will generally bring better results all round, as well as reducing stress and anxiety on staff at all levels.
An often heard complaint nowadays is that the speed and ease of electronic communications has lead to a relaxation of grammatical and business standards. In business, you should establish a few simple rules and a clear communications protocol to ensure you always present a professional image – but we should never underestimate the value of face to face and telephone communications in establishing and building relationships. Your clients will feel more valued and staff less isolated.
We have to remember too that the evolving technology – from hefty desktop PCs, to a wider use of laptops and the increasing use of tablet technology – all have an impact on office design. Desking, seating and cabling all need to evolve as businesses adopt new technologies, to keep everyone comfortable, safe and productive.
The latest online phenomena has to be the social networking sites, now increasingly being colonized by business – and they can offer valuable channels for communicating with key audiences. However, getting the most out of the medium is not a quick fix, and requires an understanding of how the tools and applications available can best be exploited for your business. Has your business benefited from using these tools?