Wednesday 26 June, 2013
It happens to all workers; you're in the middle of writing a report, a lengthy email, you're researching or drafting up an article and your computer crashes, your screen freezes or the document simply vanishes. After the initial cursing, you find the number for your office's IT help desk and find the process for getting into contact with them more frustrating than loosing the document itself.Many people have documented the recent costs that technological innovations (computers, laptops, emails, printers) are having on a workplace. A new survey has revealed Australian office workers waste an average of two weeks a year, or 71 million hours, dealing with IT issues, at a whopping $1 billion cost to businesses. If the average adult is awake for 15 hours and 45 minutes every day and roughly 45 per cent of that time is spent using a proliferation of technology than it's no wonder these costs are so high. Image source: Cartoon stock There are simple ways employees can avoid these technological frustrations and an employer can save on damage/fault costs:
- Training and using the right 'tools' for the job: many people are still unfamiliar with how technology can and should be used. Investing in a training session for the equipment used regularly in a workplace can be a worthwhile investment for a business. Also, using the right technology is an important consideration. Dick Smith's office merchandise manager Greg Hirsch gives a great example: 'Many people put pressure on their hardware to store data, when a more efficient 'cloud' storage system will get better results and prevent computer crashes and delays."
- Know that your computer is going to fail. Computers are not built to last. Always assume that failure is imminent and constantly save your work.
- Take notice of the error messages. Too often we ignore the notices that appear on the printer or scanner or even our computer screen. If the same error message shows up every time you log in, be sure to investigate it.
- Give technology a break. Everything needs rest and technology is the same. If something is freezing regularly or not as fast as it normally is, try switching the device off for a while (or overnight) and let it re-coop.
- When it does fail, diagnose the failure. Write down what's wrong. If there are error messages, write them down. If you know the problem, try to fix it yourself, if not, contact a professional to have them fix it for you.
- Record all your passwords. Use online programs like LastPass to keep your details safe and accessible from home, work or on holidays.
- Update your web browser. It's a good idea to keep your web browser up to date to avoid any potential web page problems that may arise. Keep a couple of browsers on your computer in the event one of them gives you a problem. It's rare, but there will be times a website will work in Safari, but not in Google Chrome for example.