Nothing has affected change in the workplace so drastically or as completely as the continual introduction of advances in modern technology. This is not to say that technology is a bad thing…just a double-edged sword.
Those who cannot adapt to changes in marketing trends from a communications standpoint simply will not succeed. Think of those who were perplexed when being trained on how to operate the small business phone service as those who may not be enjoying the technological advances in the workplace. This unfortunate reality has, on the other hand, encouraged young, aggressive entrepreneurs to find ways to raise the bar on their competitors.
Take, for instance, Mark Zuckerberg, who wrote Facemash in 2003 while attending Harvard University. Zuckerberg hacked into Harvard’s computer mainframe and procured photos from the private Dormitory Identification Files of nine different houses. He then posted pictures of his fellow students side by side, inviting users to choose which person was ‘hotter.’
Within four hours of being launched, the seed was planted. The site received 22,000 photo views, divided amongst 450 unique viewers. Facemash was disabled three days later. Zuckerberg was cleared of all charges. In 2006, Facebook was released to anyone over the age of 13. In 2012, Facebook was valued at $104B. It is now the most popular social networking site in the world.
Many small business owners are now using Facebook for lead generation. Often, small to medium-sized companies will outsource page management to college students, like Zuckerberg, who have a unique knowledge of SEO and web marketing. The problem with outsourcing pages is that potential service providers are in a position to demand higher pay. Page management is very quickly becoming a trade skill.
Since social networking platforms are more or less cloud-based, more and more Page Managers are now working from home. This is desirable for students trying to earn some extra cash while finishing up their degree. Many businesses are now online only, as the ability to work remotely eliminates the need to rent office space.
In terms of job training, technology has brought about changes in opposing ways. First and foremost, new employees can train in the back office with orientation videos. Because of cloud-based platforms like Google Drive, employees can now train at home while on the clock, and managers can streamline important information to them.
This gives managers the option of doing two things at once…training an associate, and running the floor. Nothing compares to face-to-face interaction with customers, but managers know that a store can work for them when they can’t be there.
This means that management must familiarize associates with technology that will assist them in the completion of important activities on the selling floor. This may mean walking them through updates to the display panel on the cash register. Regardless, technology often does a better job of eliminating productivity than it does supporting it.
Depending on the line of work they’re in, employees may need to familiarize themselves with a new design as infrequently as once a month or as often as several times a week. Employees who enjoy learning new things, and who have a basic practical knowledge of modern technology trends excel very quickly in office supply settings. Major office supplier Staples now carries 3D printers, which can effectively print a 3D image based on a computer blueprint. It is projected that 3D printers will go mainstream, and that more graphic designers will be working from home.