17 May Digital Office: 10 Things That Have Gone Digital
Let’s face it. Technology has grown faster than most of us can keep up with successfully in today’s digital office (browse all Houston office spaces). For many of us born in a time before the Internet or any of the new fancy technology took over, it has taken a bit getting used to all the new technology. It also has taken away many jobs that used to be done manually or not at all.
That’s why it’s nice every once in awhile to remember the past. It’s important so that the younger generation will have an appreciation of what has gone on before and compare it to today. The digital office is probably the most recent “fad” to come into existence. The reason is that it’s easier with the Internet and all the online tools to work from anywhere. Many office spaces today come well equipped with the modern amenities and tools your business needs justake a look at the advantages of a Houston office space
We have to take a trip back to the early 1990s to understand what office space was like before the Internet. Imagine if you can, an office full of file cabinets stuffed with paper, old standard phones that you had to push buttons to answer and room filling Magnetic tape machines. Every desk would have a Rolodex, a desktop computer and landline phone. Here are your top 10 office equipment that have gone digital.
1. Physical Filing Cabinets
As the technology grows, the push to convert paper documents to electronic documents grows. Newer cloud based equipment designed to scan paper based documents to electronic folders have replaced physical filing cabinets.
Positive: Less paper waste and documents are easily accessible through the network from anywhere in the world.
Negative: When the initial scanning is completed, jobs are eliminated.
2. Data Storage Media
Who remembers the floppy disk? In the early 1990s, floppy disks were what you used to store data. You couldn’t store too much. Magnetic tapes, referred to as Mag tapes were another data storage media. See what they looked like and how they worked.
Positive: The newer digitalized technology saves time and storage space. With cloud based technology, data is stored instantly and safely.
Negative: More jobs lost. With the ease of being able to store and retrieve data instantly, there is no need for processors or operation managers.
3. Physical Offices (Working in a Digital Office)
With the advent of the Internet and many of the newer technologies, more and more companies are opting to allow their workers to work at home in a digital office.
Positive: The Company saves on office space. The employees save time and money by working at home. Productivity goes up.
Negative: Jobs lost. The reasoning is that if you are not technically on top of the newest technology, then you are “yesterday’s news.” There is extreme competition of those jobs as well.
4. Manual Timesheets
New technology has created electronic time and monitoring systems that track employees hours effortlessly. The 24/7 aspect of the Internet and its global reach has created a workplace of zombies. You come in at a certain time and are expected to stay until a certain time.
Positive: Time is now tracked electronically which makes it easier for the finance department to pay you. Your boss doesn’t have to be physically present to sign off on your timesheet.
Negative: Your boss can track you anywhere. You have no control over your time and little recourse when something goes wrong. Electronic time monitoring systems aren’t flexible.
5. Landline Phones
New technology has virtually eliminated the copper based landline phone systems you would see in an office in the 1990s.
Positive: Phones are portable. You can take your number anywhere.
Negative: You have no set address with a phone number. You are stuck if your portable phone dies.
6. Answering Machines
Having the portable phone eliminates the need for an answering machine. Newer phones have voice mail and call back features.
Positive: Your customers can contact you day and night. You have the ability to “put out fires” instantly without running to the office.
Negative: Your customers can call you and complain day and night. You have no privacy or “downtime” to put work aside. You are at the beck and call of anyone who needs you 24/7.
7. Traditional Printers
These are still around, but are getting increasingly hard to find in the digitized marketplace. Most small businesses do more than just print and need the digital printing to complete their work.
Positive: There is definitely an advantage here with digital printers connected to the Internet. There are many things that you can do with digital printing that you couldn’t do with a traditional printer.
Negative: Jobs were lost. Since people could print on their own, some printers went out of business. Digital printers sometimes just don’t have the same quality as traditional printers.
8. Rolodex and Manual Contact Lists
The Smartphone and other newer technologies have taken away the need to keep cards and other manual contact lists. It is often just easier to keep the contact lists on your mobile device or utilize the many management solution programs available online.
Positive: Your contacts are at your fingertips and as close as your iPhone or Smartphone. You don’t have to scramble to find that one contact by going through the whole manual list.
Negative: There is really no negative aspects, except for not being able to physically see your contacts. You could lose all your contacts if you hit the delete button or lose power to your phone.
9. Fax Machines
This is definitely a “blast from the past.” Big fax machines did take up a lot of office space and were mainly used as a way to send documents electronically. Newer technology has eliminated the need for fax machines, but they are still utilized to some extent.
Positive: When the newer document capture systems came on the market at the turn of the century, they proved to be better at capturing documents. Newer technology has also eliminated the uncertainty of not receiving documents.
Negative: This proved to be another job killer for some as some processing positions were eliminated.
10. Manual Calculators
Digital calculators just last longer than manual calculators and do the same job.