Don’t Let Office Tech Make Your Life Miserable

Written by on April 27, 2013 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

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office-copierThere are enough problems associated with running an office for you not to increase them by letting the small details turn into things which could make your life miserable.

I say this with the experience of someone who lived through some miserable times in my office thanks to the following issues.

The Agenda Eating Photocopier

The photocopying machine that ate paper was one of the big problems in our office for a long time when it really shouldn’t have been. We called in experts from far and wide and no one could figure out why it would sometimes suddenly grab hold of a sheet of paper and refuse to let go of it.

We were always forced to pull the sheet out forcibly, which resulted in various tiny shreds which resembled accordions for leprechauns. Of course, this always happened when I most urgently needed to print something.

I remember a visit by our group manager was completely ruined when he had to witness 4 of us on our hands and knees, covered in ink and trying to piece together the meeting agenda which I had lovingly typed up an hour earlier.

This was the final straw and a week later we had a shiny new photocopier which the salesman promised me would never eat our documents. It worked a treat and we all soon forgot about the amount of time we had spent with our heads squeezed under the out tray and our shirt sleeves rolled up to our elbows.

Dodgy Phones and Angry Customers

Every time one of our office phones rung I could see the fear in my colleagues’ eyes. We had an antiquated telephone system which seemed to have been designed in the 19th century by someone with a bizarre sense of humour.

For a start, transferring a call or putting someone on hold was a complicated business which involved typing a long code into the phone.

I lost count of the number of times I had to deal with angry customers who had been cut off, got lost in the system or had to sit there and listen while the person who thought they were on hold told the person next to them all about the annoying customer on the phone.

I finally sorted this out by looking at modern and efficient telephone systems for small business’. At last we could relax and just complain about the number of calls we got rather than anything else.

No More Coffee Machines Chats

Have you ever stopped to consider how important your office coffee machine is? If you haven’t, then try checking out one day how long your staff members spend standing in front it. This is where plans are made, work is discussed and bonds are forged.

Of course, if you don’t pay attention to the small details you could end up with some problems here as well. A new machine we installed served up horrible sludge and after a while everyone stopped using it. Because I don’t drink coffee I never noticed but one day I realised that everyone else was sitting with those fancy cups from local coffee shops in front of them.

It was only later that I realised that this was having two negative effects on our work. Firstly, the staff members were losing working time in the mornings by popping out for their fix of caffeine. Secondly, my team were starting to complain about the fact that they splash out on their own drinks now and were growing increasingly unhappy.

In the end I replaced the machine with a better one and it rapidly turned into the social centre of the office and everyone was happy again.

Ian Appleton is an office manager who has suffered a lot due to poor coffee machines, hungry photocopiers and inadequate telephone systems for small business’.

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