Disruption in the workplace, is a trending topic regularly debated, as it has relevance across all industries. Technology and disruption go hand-in-hand and have played a fundamental part in the constant changing way we work.
The typewriter has been replaced by the computer, fax machines are almost obsolete, server rooms are now hosted in the cloud and smart phones help us run our lives, with thousands of Apps ranging from the completely useless to those we can’t live without.
Disruption and technology effect everyone in different ways. I sat down with our UK sales team and asked them what they thought had been the biggest technology disruption in the workplace in the last 10-20 years and what fond memories they had of technologies or workplace tools now obsolete:
Sunita Pachova, Corporate Development Manager
I personally think agile working has really disrupted the way we work, technology now allows employees to work anywhere and anytime, and also helps businesses to manage costs and increase productivity.
“My fondest memory of old technology is the memory stick, my first role was as a remote worker and I had a selection of my documents and presentations stored on memory sticks, they would travel everywhere with me.” ~ Sunita Pachova
James Leyland, Corporate Development Manager
The Smartphone has been the biggest disruption in the workplace, we are able to do just about everything with our phones, from the inbuilt functionality to thousands of Apps to assist us on a daily basis.
“The fax machine and photocopiers are fairly obsolete technology, I can’t remember the last time I sent a fax! I also think Cold-calling from resources such as the yellow pages is also obsolete, the internet has taken its place.” ~ James Leyland
Simon Cohen, Head of UK Partners
I believe agile working with a combination of technology has been the biggest disruption in the workplace, allowing people and technology to move together in harmony and change the way we work.
“I had a Nokia mobile phone, which we affectionately referred to as ‘The Brick’, it took pride of place on my desk.” ~ Simon Cohen
Jacqueline Nolan, UK Sales Administrator
The Internet has been the biggest disruptor in the workplace, 90% of our working day is utilised through online tools, from databases, websites, and research, reducing the need for reference books, and bulky server rooms.
“My first job was as a receptionist, I had an electronic Typewriter and would generate the organisations invoices, letters and inter-office memos.” ~ Jacqueline Nolan
Klaus Gourd, Corporate Development Manager
Globalisation has been a huge disruption in the workplace, we now no longer have one person to make the decisions, Line Managers, Directors and CEO’s are located all over the world.
“In my first role, I used a Telex Machine, which a few years later was replaced with a Fax, and I remember participating in a Fax Machine training course.” ~ Klaus Gourd
David Arnott, Corporate Development Manager
The ability to send email has been a huge disruption in the workplace, giving us the opportunity to instantly contact our customers, partners and suppliers, sending them relevant content, information and of course book meetings into their diaries has been a huge advantage.
“During my work experience, I used a Telex machine. I would send shorthand messages through a huge machine, which took at least 10 minutes per message.” ~ David Arnott
James Kelly, Corporate Development Manager
The Smartphone has been one of the biggest disruptions in the workplace, with one piece of technology, we can now, email, phone, browse the internet, take photographs, download files, use a vast selection of Applications and purchases goods, the list is almost endless.
“I can’t actually remember the last time I used, or even saw a fax machine in the workplace in the last 5-7 years.” ~ James Kelly
Matthew Sheppard, Corporate Development Manager
To the me the biggest disruption in the workplace has been organisations not completely understanding the implementation process of cloud technology, which when not planned and mapped correctly causes massive upheaval in the workplace.
“Before having a mobile phone, I was the proud owner of a pager. And would eagerly wait for the little gadgets to beep, beep, alerting me to my next call.” ~ Matthew Sheppard
Peter Graham, Corporate Development Manager
I feel the biggest disruption in the workplace has been two different technologies, the mobile phone and email, with the combination of these two functions we are now contactable 24/7.
“Before outlook or smartphones, I used a carbon copy note pad (Kalamazoo) for all my appointments, leaving a copy in the office and copy for myself on the road.” ~ Peter Graham
Jack Hulme, Inside Sales Representative
Cloud CRM Systems have been a huge disruption in the workplace, taking out the need for endless spreadsheets and the possibility of human error. Now all our opportunities, leads and customers are all in one place.
“I entered the workforce in 2010, there isn’t much in terms of obsolete technology, but who knows, in ten years’ time, I may look fondly back on the smart phones, tablets, 3D and Virtual technology and Google’s driverless car with a smile.” ~ Jack Hulme
Steve Norman, Corporate Development Manager
Security and Compliance has caused the biggest disruption in the workplace, with increased hacking, data leaks and cybercrime on the rise and a real threat, businesses need to change and update their security policies to keep themselves protected.
“I remember using Floppy disks in the workplace, as well as the distant grinding tones of a dial-up modem to access the internet.” ~ Steve Norman
Digital tools are now an intricate part of our daily business lives; from emailing, to room or desk booking, to CRM, to social media platforms and in my case marketing automation tools. Technology will continue to disrupt (or enable) our lives, but I for one look forward to embracing the next generation of new innovations and online tools.
And just in case you were wondering, my fondest memory of old technology is the Fax Machine, it played a huge role in my first job as a receptionist for an international shipping company, faxing the container reference details to offices across the globe.
Are you looking for the next generation in innovations and online tools?
*This article was written by Claire Roper, UK Digital Communications Manager at Condeco.