Who doesn’t love the office? What? You? OK – very few of us relish our time in the office, but it would be hard to argue that the office-based work style has not influenced the lives of a great many people in the post-industrial world. The office has come to symbolize the act of working for many people. It is symbolically and actually the place of toil and production – but also the place of friendship and social interaction.
Technology has changed the way we work since day one. Since the first tool was hewn, the first cotton mill was developed and the first typewriter was assembled we have entered into new and fascinating paradigms of work.
Here are some of the most catalytic developments in technology that have changed the way the office operates. By the time this article is published, it may be out of date – such is the wild pace of technological influence on the workplace.
How We Communicate
Letters, pigeons, telegrams, and phone calls take up far less of our time in the office now, don’t you think? Technology has absolutely changed the way we communicate at work. Most importantly, the internet has ushered in a new phase of the information age. We now live in a remarkably networked society. Instant communication dominates our professional lives.
When the World Wide Web was first invented in 1989, its inventor Tim Berners Lee could not have had the faintest inkling of how much change globally networked computers would bring into the workplace.
How We Manage Projects
Project management used to be an absolute chore. Managers would have to assess calendars, timelines, collaborative work, research, and staffing all at the same time – often as the lone project manager in an office. The crucial work of project management has been completely changed by software. Project management software like Monday combines all of a project team’s data and visualizes it efficiently.
How We Get In And Out
It used to be pretty easy to gain access to a commercial building: either the doorperson let you in or they didn’t. These days, modern access control systems are key security devices that control the flow of people into an office. Access control systems are usually linked to credential-based access devices. If you have ever used an ID card or pin, you’ll have used one of these.
How We Think Of The Office
What is an office, really? It is the space in which we work, report to our boss, and plan strategy and tactics. It is the zone where decisions are discussed and made. It is the place where we socialize with our colleagues and make lasting connections. With modern technology, these things no longer have to happen within a designated building. As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the office is no longer a physical place. For better or worse it permeates our lives wherever we are. Video conferencing tools like Zoom and the constant availability of data for many of us have made the office into more of a metaphysical space – wherever work happens to be.