Growing up, it seemed like we were always taking long family drives to a relative’s house or to see some part of the country that needed to be appreciated. Mind you, these weren’t thirty minute trips to the outlet mall. These were of the 8- or 9-hour variety that made me finally appreciate old station wagon so I could spread my legs out and nap in the back seat.
But sometimes I would have a different role on these excursions. If one of my parents stayed home, I had to move to the front seat, because now I had become the co-pilot. In addition to handling the music choices, snacks, and being unable to read my book because of getting carsick (now that I was sitting upright), I had the painstaking duty of sorting through the AAA maps that had been pre-purchased and highlighted with a magic marker for the adventure at hand.
For those who can remember, the hardest part of using one of these maps was not finding the destination – that was actually possible. The impossible task was refolding the map to its previous shape and fitting it back in the glove box. Can you imagine still finding locations today by using these maps? Just to get to a doctor’s appointment or a client meeting? Figuring out where you want to go, getting out the right map for the area where you’re going, highlighting the route, balancing the map just right as you drive, then refolding it correctly and jamming it back into the glove box?
We wouldn’t do that today, just like we wouldn’t open an encyclopedia to do research now that ‘googling’ is the tool of choice, or carry disposable cameras around our neck when we can just use our cell-phone, giving superior results I might add. Technology has changed our lives in so many ways. The internet, satellites, smartphones, social media, robotics, healthcare, crime prevention, the shopping experience – all of these areas have affected us by simplifying or improving our lives – and they are all connected to technology. Even folding our maps has been improved by current technology!
But are we seeing the improvements extend to our office environment? Even through the technology is present in the infrastructure, is it truly making us more productive and effective, or do we just have the latest and greatest shiny new toys?
- Here are three questions to ask to assess your technology against your productivity:
- How does a document move through your organization? Think about the creation, editing, distribution, retention, and even destruction.
- How are your mobile devices interacting with the network?
- On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being outstanding, how satisfied are your employees with your IT department’s / vendor’s response to their demands?
Technology can make us more productive. Intel studied the work habits and productivity of more than 100 Intel employees who were upgraded to wireless notebooks and found a gain of more than two hours per week, more than paying for the cost of the upgrades in the first year. They also found that when workers were able to control more of their time, that productivity increased as well. (National Business Research Institute) But we have to do more than just provide the means. We need to regularly assess if our employees, technology, and our goals are aligned and working together.
Make sure you are taking the time to ask questions, identify the bottlenecks, and help out any team members who are still navigating their way down the road trying to refold a map and fit it back into the glove box. Technology is all around us, and it can make us more productive if we just know how to make it work for us. Van Ausdall & Farrar provides a complimentary assessment that will define if organizational goals are in alignment with technology assets. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.