03 Apr 2019
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Six Office Tools that Used to Mean Business

The world of work has changed significantly over the last few decades. And the most important changes have been the tools we use to do our work every day.

If you’ve been around the water cooler long enough, you’ve probably experienced many of these changes yourself. If you’re new to the world of work, some of these once tried-and-true tools could be almost unrecognizable!

These tools used to mean business. In fact, nobody ran a business without them. But in the future of work, do you even need them anymore, or will they all be destined for the museum?

Fax machines

Some offices still require them but we don’t know why. This old school predecessor to the scanner always had a knack for making the most important information on a document the most difficult to read!

Now, by taking a photo on a phone or tablet or scanning a document into a computer, you can email almost anything to anyone, making a fax machine all but obsolete.

The Rolodex

When the contact indexing system called the Rolodex first arrived, offices everywhere bought them up in bulk. Every receptionist, sales person, and executive had their contacts organized and filed by alphabetical card for easy access. It was brilliant!

Now we just organize them all in our smartphone contact lists and share them seamlessly, as needed.

Standard working hours

We might still use the phrase “working nine to five,” but the expectation of a solid eight-hour work day with an hour for lunch is no longer the norm. Factors like the increased speed of information, intensified workloads, global business relationships, and prioritizing family and personal responsibilities have all impacted how work is approached, ushering in the age of “flex hours.”

Formal business attire (suits, ties, pantyhose)

Super formal work environments always required the uniform of a suit and tie for men and dresses or skirt suits for women. As the age of the dotcom arrived in the early 2000s, we began to let go of those formalities of dress in favour of much more comfortable, casual wardrobes, proving that you could just as easily be the CEO in a suit as you could in a hoodie!

Corner offices – or any offices at all

The corner office used to be reserved for the head honcho (remember that final scene in Working Girl?). As cube farms are turned into open-concept offices and permanent office spaces are being replaced with co-work spaces, remote locations, and home offices, the idea of permanent office space is becoming a thing of the past.

Business cards

Remember the first “real job” you had? How everyone asked you for your business card and you couldn’t wait to hand one over? Now, business cards are nice to have, rather than necessary. With digital tools like websites, networking platforms, near-field communication for beaming information from one device to another, and QR codes, you can share all of your contact details without ever having a printed business card.

How many of these did you have in your office? Do you still rely on these well-worn tools or are you moving into the future of work with an update or two to your systems and technology?

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