How Technology Changed the Workplace

24 10 2011

Technology affects almost every aspect of our lives.  When I think back to my start in radio sales just over a decade ago, we were just launching station websites, our account managers shared 3 computers to put their advertising schedules together, two sales assistants created almost all presentations that went out the door, email and the internet were in their infant stage, color printers were a luxury, a type writer or two was still being pecked on, the big thing was having a clam shell mobile phone, pagers were hip, and new business development was done through micro fish at the library, or reading print articles and combing the yellow pages.   For many of us, communicating with clients meant more face and telephone time along with sending letters and cards through the mail in the hopes of getting a prompt response.  Interoffice communication consisted of memos being circulated and posted in a common place for all to see. Couriers were used to carry our important documents across town.  Yeah, those were the good slow days.

The business world and the way we are conducting business has revolutionized almost beyond recognition in 10 short years and has forever changed the face and pace of what we do.  We now have access to a world of resources.  Almost all of human knowledge has been scanned, transcribed, recited and digitized for immediate access via a simple Google search.   We’ve witnessed firsthand technology grow like a child budding into adulthood.  We’ve seen technology fail, and we’ve seen it succeed. We’ve poked fun at it when it doesn’t make sense, and we’ve praised it when it’s absolutely brilliant. We’ve yelled at it when it runs out of power, and we’ve fixed or replaced it when it gets run down.

No doubt about it, technology has made our workplace and business more efficient.  Many would argue that technology has blurred the line between our professional and private lives.  Wireless internet, smart phones, tablets, etc…have made it easy to work from home—or for that matter, from anywhere.  Barriers of distance have disappeared.  Our ability to communicate with colleagues and clients has been amplified with replies taking seconds, not days.  From teleconferencing, web ex presentations, email, text messaging and social media, to HD experiences and video – we can connect, engage, communicate, activate, research and create with the touch of a few buttons.  And, if you look around, we all have a laptop or desktop in our workspace…not to mention a smart phone that is tied and tethered to us 24/7.

Let’s face it – these technological advances have been for both better and worse, but have unequivocally impacted the way our workplace now functions.  We have a wonderful opportunity to make our industry and brands more customizable, on-demand and instantaneous.  We have nothing stopping us from making more money as a company and capitalizing on our ability to create new revenue channels while convincing all categories of business to be our clientele.

We are no longer a radio company…we are MEDIA…we are a CHOICE – radio, TV, print, outdoor and on-line all bundled as one.  But so are our competitors in these categories as well as the Average Joe.  Ultimately, we have to make certain we are maximizing the wonderful technological gifts that are in our hands and make certain we don’t fall prey to complacency and contentedness.   The worst “thank you” we can give our employer for all the modern tools we now have in our workplace is to become lazy, stop out-hustling and become lax in our thinking all in the name of efficiencies, created by technology.

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