Office environments and working practices have changed dramatically over the last fifteen years. Since the rise of powerful computers, smartphones, Internet, apps and gadgets, the way we work has become more digitalised. Whilst some lament the changes (never ending emails and not ever actually meeting our clients or colleagues) and other’s glad for them (flexible hours, remote working and working from home), one thing is for certain: technology is allowing us to be more organised.
For one thing, it’s making our internal processes more efficient. In the days before sophisticated management programmes (such as CIPHR HR software), teams of professionals beavered away among piles of paperwork and admin. Nowadays, processes have been streamlined and held in a virtual storage space, with alerts and messages sent between team members – without so much as a single missing document or a paper cut.
But it’s not just HR that has benefited. Technology is helping all departments to perform better, with Customer Service teams making the most of their time using ‘live chat’ rather than cumbersome phone calls for example.
Secondly, technology is allowing us to keep on top of our to do lists. Can you imagine how much chaos there would be and how many important tasks would slip through the net if your entire office relied on notepads and post it notes to manage its workflow?
Technology has allowed for the delegation of work and monitoring of progress: team management software systems such as Teamwork and Basecamp are used by companies across the UK to help their staff keep on top of deadlines and meet important targets, without constant questions such as ‘when it is due?’, ‘no-one told me that!’ and ‘why hasn’t this been sent to the client!?’.
Technology is also helping us organise our workplace in a way that is environmentally friendly. For instance, cloud storage systems such as Dropbox and G-Drive are allowing us to do away with physical paperwork. Gone are the days of printing endless versions and iterations of projects, and documents no longer need ‘backing up’ by printing an additional copy. Instead, everything is digitalised and stored online.
Even payslips can be issued electronically! Advancements like these are incredibly useful: it’s enabling our best organisers to arrange things in a way that makes sense, it’s a scalable and secure long term solution and it’s much better for the environment than boxes and boxes of paperwork.
Finally, technology is helping us to be more organised by allowing us to keep in touch with colleagues in real time. The fact our work processes are centred around the Internet now means we can work from home and still be present on WebEx conferences.
We can participate in email threads from the side lines of our kid’s football matches, join Skype calls in the office, and best of all, it’s all in real time. There’s no gap or lull period between a conversation and an action, a decision and a result: we’re better organised by keeping in touch in a way that just wasn’t possible fifteen years ago.