Do you remember what desks looked like 10, 20, 30 years ago?
Desks have changed over time, especially since 1981; the way our desks look, how we manage our day to day work schedule, and how we access and store information. Thanks to technology our world of business is bigger than ever before, and our computer hardware is smaller and lighter. All of this means our desks are less cluttered and we can work pretty much anywhere and at any time.
Produced by bestreviews.com | Original article & video can be viewed at bestreviews.com/office#transformation-of-the-office
You know you are over 40 when you can remember…
- Flipping through the Rolodex to find a client’s phone number. You could tell which clients you called all the time because the corners of the paper were worn. You could also tell the contact who frequently changed jobs; their card was a patchwork of Liquid Paper and various colours of ink because of all the address and phone number changes.
- Taking out a new fax machine that you picked up at the local office supply store, realizing you forgot to pick up a roll of fax paper to put in it.
- Proud to be one of the first of your colleagues to have a Commodore 64 in the office.
- Using floppy disks for storing your digital back-ups (and they didn’t store much information), and then having to find a place to store all the floppy disks.
- Having a little sponge and dish with water sitting on your desk. It saved you from having to lick all the envelopes before sending out the mail.
- Using a giant paper bookkeeping ledger to keep track of all your debits and credits. Going to the accountant at the end of the year was an all day task because you had to drive the information to them and then carry the stacks of books and receipts into their office.
- The time it took to boot up your computer! You pushed the button, and THEN went for coffee, hoping it would be on by the time you returned. After that it would take another 20 minutes while you waited for the dial up connection to kick in so you could have access to the internet.
- Before you took a phone call, you made sure you were settled into your seat. There were no cordless phones back in the day (hard to believe).
- Re-organizing your desk to find space for everything was a daily task. However, it did give you something to do when the person you were talking with on the phone put you on hold. Did we mention we didn’t have cordless phones?
- When you needed information about a certain product, there was no internet to search for the answers. You had to find out information the old fashioned way which meant you had to keep a library of catalogues. Catalogues that you used all the time would be on your desk (taking up more space) and others stored away on bookshelves in another room. You had to remember what company, year, and category the product was in or you would be spending all day going through each catalogue. Calling your sales representative was a last resort because it was unlikely they were at their desk to take your call (remember, no mobile phones).
Thanks to the creative minds of digital gurus, “chained to your desk” is a term that will be left in the past. We now have choices, and we have an opportunity to shape our workspaces depending on our business needs and preferences.