TECH

Once upon a time, many moons ago in the US (1844 to be exact), the first telegraph message was sent by Samuel Morse, who, along with other inventors, created a revolution in long-distance communication. The code that he sent it in still bears his name and is still in use to this day.

The telegraph was superseded first by the invention of the telephone, then the fax machine, and ultimately the internet as communications technology advanced in leaps and bounds.

Technology is there to make life easier, particularly in the business world, and though it’s easy from time to time to want a break from the never-ending screens and the bleeps and buzzes that keep summoning your attention, you need to remain connected. Many businesses not only use traditional tech to run their operation but also increasingly use social media to update employees, clients, and customers about what they are doing.

How has technology made your day-to-day office work easier?

Consider the paper

Most offices produce vast amounts of documents on paper that seem, because they are hard copies, more sturdy and reliable. Yet how necessary are these hard copies today? When there were concerns about the security of new technology, sometimes justified, it seemed that producing reams and reams of paper was somehow safer.

Internet security has improved immensely, and though always potentially hackable by the unscrupulous, it’s far easier to protect documents online without the need for massive printouts. Paper documents take up a lot of space, clutter working areas, and can so easily get lost. Saving information to a secure area in the cloud means that you can ensure that documents are instantly available to those who need them (with password-protected access), make things rapidly searchable, and consequently save time and money – not to mention physical storage space.

Instant communication

If you can imagine how people felt about the telegraph when it arrived in the mid-19th century, think about how they might react to email. This method of communication is arguably one of the most important developments in communication since the telephone and fax – an instantaneous way of contacting anyone at any time.

With early email, only text could be sent, but as the technology developed and broadband speeds and bandwidths gradually expanded, it led to the rise of being able to send attachments such as pdfs, word documents, and pictures. You more than likely take all this for granted now, but it wasn’t that long ago that you’d have taken a lot of time to print things out, collate them, put them in an envelope, and post them.

Apps such as Messenger allow instant communication, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can also be used appropriately to advertise your business and keep people in touch with what you’re doing.

Sorting the accounts

If you remember the days of handwritten ledgers for the accounts, then you’ve been around for a while! Or your operation hasn’t moved on with the tech age.

Online accounting packages have features that allow you to input your various income and expenditure, what belongs in the capital section, and help you to work out any tax liabilities. Provided that the information is inputted correctly, you’ll have an accurate balance sheet and management accounts. There is also software available to make your invoicing simple and instantly traceable, with Invoice Home providing templates for easy use and eminently trackable.

Once again, you’re cutting down on paperwork and saving time and money.

The tablet revolution

The concept of tablets has been around for a long time, but there were many teething problems with creating a smaller device than a laptop that was easily portable and operated well. Many developers worked on a range of models, releasing them to market, but it wasn’t until Apple launched the iPad that tablets really started to take off.

Now they are ubiquitous, an essential part of office life, able to use a huge variety of apps to make working situations easier, and small enough and light enough to enable you work from home, on the road, or in satellite offices. All the communication software that you need can be downloaded and adapted to what is essential for you, and you can video conference through the likes of Skype as well as always keeping communications channels open.

Technology – a blessing?

Our essential need to know and keep in touch means that technology can often be a blessing, but if you don’t control it for what you need, it can sometimes become a curse.