Dear reader, I’m glad to welcome you back once again! It’s been a while since my last blog because of the holidays (hope you had a good one to) but today I’m back with a brand new one. First of all I still want to wish you guys all the best for 2016, that this year may bring us all good fortune!
But now back to business, for this week’s blog I would like to focus more on employees and how technology (especially the personal computer and internet) changed them. To fully understand this we’re going to take a ride back and forth from the 70’s to this present day. I hope that by doing so you will have a clear read on how technology actually changed our lives at the office for good. It has definatly made a huge impact, there is no doubt about that if you’d ask me, but I really think that by looking back and forth we can understand this change and impact even better.
This week I collaborated with classmate Maarten. I was thinking about a new subject to write a blog about and I told him I wanted to focus it more on technology changing employees. By sparring together this idea of time traveling came across. We talked about our younger days (ok, that sounds as if we are old already but I mean the 90’s by that) and the differences between now and then. I thought it would be cool to go back in time to fully understand the impact technology has made on the lives of working people, or employees. The first thing Maarten told me was to make technology more specific. Then I decided to focus on the (personal) computer as technology because nowadays we can’t think of an office without a computer in it. And yes, an IPad or something else like that also goes as computer! Maarten also encouraged me to dig deeper in that past, way back when an office had no computer at all. Only then the impact/influence picture would be complete. Maarten’s tips really helped me to get may story more specific and broad so a big thanks to him for the help.
Let’s start our journey at the beginning of the 70’s. In the early 70’s there was no such thing as a computer at an office. Everything that had to be done on paper was done by simply writing it by hand or by typing it on a typing machine, which was a welcome bonus if you had one at the time. Surely employees must have been very happy with the typing machine because it made work easier. That wasn’t the only difference in work back then. According to this article of the Wikonomics website (2010) employees also had way more leisure time and less working hours in 1973 at offices. But then came the big change….
1977, the first successful personal computer by Apple, suited to enter data. A big change for the world back then. In 1981 IBM followed with their first personal computer. Actually they gave it this name (pc) first. But it wasn’t before 1984/85 that the pc got it graphical working environment which made it really suitable for offices and Widows made its first appearance. Then it all went really fast, the Moore’s law principle I have mentioned in previous blogs aswell. 1992 there was Microsoft Word and the internet and well, the rest of the story we know. But then comes the psychological part in all this. How did it all affect the employee?
This is a picture of the 1981 IBM
If you read the article I mentioned earlier you can certainly see that the computer (and the internet) has made us more productive than ever before. An employee now can do the same amount of work in way less hours than an employee in the 70’s.
The second thing is that it has made us way smarter. Nowadays you can find everything you need on the internet on whatever computer device you like. If you are a student then think about yourself studying to become an employee. Where would you be without the internet nowadays?
The last thing I want to appoint is independency. We can do way more things ourselves thanks to the computers and internet. For the older generations it may be difficult to learn but for most people in our society is really easy to use. For employees it also had a huge impact when you talk about independency, just think about people working from their homes nowadays!
I guess there is a lot to say about computers and the internet and how I changed our lives through the years, in our private lives and in our work. I’m curious to know what you think of this change? Would you prefer living in the 70’s (or even before that) or are you happy to live in 2016? I’m certainly happy to live right now because technology is an enrichment to my life for sure. I know that in my previous blog I also highlighted the downside of it, how it can control us in a way. But hey, it brought us lots of good thing aswell. So don’t be shy to leave your reaction to this subject and if you don’t know how to do that, it’s easy, just ask Google!