21st century office

Over the past 20 years, the office workplace has changed dramatically. The days of stacks of paper, staplers, and tape dispensers seem to be waning, while email, instant messaging, and electronic documents have become the norm. Why has this change occurred? Efficiency is one of the reasons the workplace embraces the tech boom. Businesses are achieving more in less time.

The typewriter has long been a staple in the workplace since its inception in the 1800s. Writers feed a sheet of paper into the machine and fill it with ink as they write. Errors seemed to be permanently stuck to the page until the arrival of White Out and the typewriter correction tape. Even with these proofing tools, the process often left writers wishing for a more efficient and less permanent way to get their words down on paper.

The personal computer has been the answer to the cries of office writers. Before an ink drop hits the page, writers can easily go back over mistakes and do a full review of the article. The spelling and grammar checker are tools left over from most typewriters. I think we can all attest to the beauty of these two tools.

Where does your paper go once you get off the computer (or typewriter)? Most offices still have the space hogging metal filing cabinets lying around. These archaic beasts not only became depositories of thousands of sheets of paper, but they have also wreaked havoc on the lower backs of engines! Those who work in a paper environment have also witnessed the “disappearing paper” syndrome, where the document filing cabinet swears it was put in the right place. However, the document disappears later. Hard drives in personal computers have now become document files.

If you are having difficulty finding the electronic file, you can easily sort the storage space by date or file type. Products like Ark Works have made the electronic filing cabinet a reality. It’s much easier to search for these files on a computer than it is to search through mountains of paper.

It has not been that long that we have had the luxury of digital products in our age of electronics. You can count on faster computers and greater office efficiency. In 20 years from now we will reflect on how archaic our technology was in the 21st century. And the typewriter? It won’t be long until you are in a museum or antique store.