The Office Dinosaur
By Nancy Fraze
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “The only thing constant is change.”
Today’s work environment so fluid, and the speed in which new technology is developed so quickly that often, trends expire before they go mainstream. Sometimes, it may seem like you don’t know what you don’t know!
So let’s take a multi-generational trip down memory lane in the office workplace. Whether you’ve been an executive assistant or admin for two or twenty years, surely you’ll relate to at least some of these:
- Liquid Paper – the white thick fluid that covered errors in typing.
- Carbon Paper – sandwiched between paper and inserted in a typewriter to provide easy, instant multiple copies before (photo) copiers.
- Dictation Machines – verbal letters and memorandums spoken into a tape recorder, and later transcribed by an assistant.
- Typewriters – large, bulky typing machines used in offices to prepare correspondence.
- Cassette Tapes, 8-tracks, Floppy Discs – media for training courses, programs, data storage and music.
- Tabulating Devices – also called adding machines. Users would punch in buttons labeled as numbers, and the machine would “tabulate” the sums.
How about these?
- Facsimile Machines – these were a marvel when introduced, but with the advent of scanners and internet they are all but gone from today’s offices.
- Standard Mobile Phone – these single-function devices are evaporating into history as more smart phones ease the transition between work and play time.
- Servers – offices are moving ‘to the cloud’ thereby eliminating costly servers onsite. The move toward business “anywhere, anytime” necessitates flexibility and reliability.
- Desktop Computers – most companies are replacing the heavy, bulky equipment with notebook or tablet computers for mobility and ease of transport. Again, the move toward business “anywhere, anytime” make this a no brainer.
- 3-Ring Binders – today’s business embrace recycling and “working green.” The ability to now store information and draft with automatic revision organizing on a secure, electronic share site with joint access dispenses the need to print courtesy copies or have the embarrassment of two “draft 3” versions.
What items would you add to the list?
The point: technology advancements are quickly changing the way we work more rapidly than ever before. It’s critical to remain flowing with the tide of the advancements to avoid becoming extinct like the dinosaurs. Regardless of your chronological age, everyone used to the current technology and office tools will be amazed at the passage of time on things they hold dear as the years (maybe even months?) pass by.