In today’s world it is an undeniable fact that technology has become a part of our everyday lives both socially and professionally. The fast paced advancement of technology has had a great impact on the workplace. Gone are the days when most tasks were painstakingly performed by hand, paperwork filed (on paper!) and ‘snail -mail’ was the only means of correspondence!

Productive Tools:
In my opinion successfully using technology can help make or break a business! There is an unlimited number of resources available that can at a touch of a button help create a more efficient and productive business. One of the most simplest and common tools used are e-mails, allowing immediate communication.

Cloud sharing and synchronizing enables you to access your files from anywhere, sharing project files and ideas with your team, resulting in easy speedy-swift collaboration. Holding meetings online is essential when participants are in different time zones/locations around the globe. The cost efficiency of these tools is also another major benefit to businesses.

On the go – Tablets & Smartphones

Whether in the office, at home, at a meeting or on the road you now have the ability to take your work with you! Be it entire libraries, presentations, photos or even large awkward rolls of drawings (i.e. for architects and engineers on site) being at work is no longer about where you are but what you are doing! (‘Work is something you do not somewhere you go’). As technology of Tablets, Smartphones and Mobile devices develops there is a vast selection of applications that help improve your business whilst ‘on-the-go’. Apps for management, communication, presentations, tasks to do, calendar, contacts, notes, meetings – the list is endless. Out of the office all day? No longer do you need to put your business on hold! Or so you would think!

Example of unproductive business

Although the advantages of technology are clearly abundant there are however still some, who for whatever reason, have yet to fully embrace and incorporate the benefits of technology into their businesses. I recently did some work with a new business associate and although a large office with many employees I soon discovered that while they did have computers, the employees had no internet access! Only the employer had the privilege of the internet and therefore also an active e-mail. After promptly sending some draft ideas for a project I then had to wait 3 days(!) for a reply. The office manager had other commitments and so his employees had to wait for their boss to print the files – PRINT? (what a waste of paper and ink). Surely the files could easily have been reviewed on the computer; saving time, money and the environment! To top it all I had to visit their office in order to review their comments (they could not and did not know how to upload them back onto their computers and send them back).

All in all, this is an example of a very unproductive, expensive, time consuming and unnecessary delay on a project.

Social media – free marketing tool
The growing popularity of online Social networks such as facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google plus (to name but a few) can and should be taken advantage of as marketing tools. Make the most of these sites to easily and in most cases freely advertise your business. Promote your skills and services, increase customer awareness and expand your business network.

Above all don’t be afraid of technology, use it to benefit you and your business in the 21st Century!