By Gabriel Benjamin
In recent times, technology has become an integral aspect of work processes and being up-to-date on the latest technology is now a prerequisite for getting a job in most organizations.
Globally, the ability to use technology is an essential skill in the dynamic business environment.
Sierra Leone has been declared a booming market for smart devices for personal uses and the demand is growing in the business sphere. This is confirmed by the increasing demand for mobile applications such as Andriod, Iphones, Tablets etc.
The attendant concept of working smart with improved technology, in addition to working hard, in a bid to get more work done within a short time, has been proven to enhance productivity.
Communication with co-workers and clients through technology is gradually displacing oral communication in the work environment, with orders for goods and services, applications, discussions, lectures and examinations and even meetings, among others, held over the Internet.
Before the advent of the advanced technologies, documents were prepared using typewriters and were kept in files arranged in chronological order. However, with the arrival of Personal Computer, there was a paradigm shift from paper documentation to paperless method of keeping documents as reflected in the changing work patterns of the office.
Automated technologies are designed to enhance productivity and facilitate efficiency in the performance of tasks. Office systems exist to facilitate, create, process and distribute information.
The advent of technology has brought about a change in the way business are been done in offices. The era of the typewriter and old computers has gone; this new dispensation has brought new gadgets like laptops, smartphones, tablets and the likes.
The use of social media through these new technologies has also increased the way that customers are been attended to; bringing a more productive way of doing business.”
Some of the technological tools and their impacts on productivity in the workplace:
The laptop is a fast machine that is very flexible than a desktop computer. The flexibility of this machine makes it easy to increase productivity. Laptop has been compressed to palm-top, which makes the operation faster and the result we get is more efficiency. The negative impact is that when a laptop gets stolen or crashes, important information can be lost forever if it is not backed up.
Many organizations now approve the use of mobile phones for official purposes. The mobile phone makes it easier and faster to communicate in the organization compared to the land phone. The smartphones are also used as mini computers, which also helps to increase productivity. Although, the Blackberry and Android phones are tools of productivity but can be time wasting depending on the purpose the owners are using them for at a particular time.”
Some organizations have also adopted the use of the answering machine instead of employing human being to stay on the phone. The technology has made work more efficient and effective when customer calls, even at odd hours. Customers can leave messages and have a bit of interaction before the real issue is being discussed. The negative impact of this technology is that many people can be out of job because it will reduce the physical picking of calls.
New technology devices like hidden cameras, in recent times, have helped to secure the business environment. Organizations now install security devices in different parts of the workplace. This simple tools help to check how the employees are working and any security threat to the organization. As a result, productivity of the people increases because they know they are being monitored. The negative impact is the reality of needing less number of physical security officers/ supervisors.
Oracle Business Suite
This is multifaceted software that encompasses different sections to perform a wide range of tasks. The software is versatile and commonly used by various companies.
Microsoft Project Manager
This is used for managing projects like those being handled by construction companies. It ensures easy planning, presentation and execution of projects.
For the accounting profession, Peachtree is commonly used for calculations of monetary transactions.