Last week I loaned a small desktop Fujitsu Scanner I used on my desktop to a client so he could test it out for use scanning contracts in his client's offices.
It is a good idea with this kind of workflow change to test the procedure out before making an purchase to see if the idea works in the field, so my scanner is a good test product for him.
I figured that it would not have any real impact on me because the scanner just sat on my desktop and I didn't recall using it frequently. Boy was I wrong. I have found in the past three days that I really missed this 'convenience tool'. Of course I have access to other scanning devices in our offices since we have several networked MFP devices which are setup for us to use. The problem was I had not made sure that my credentials had been setup on the network devices since I had the desktop scanner right at hand.
Today I finally got some of my scanning going and I still have a couple more documents to process as I write this article.
What does this story show about using office technologies.
We tend to take for granted the tools we have available until they are no longer there. Whether it is the convenience scanner, the ability to access a certain printer, the ability to fax from your desktop, integration with your document management system, or some other tool which goes missing, once you don't have it you miss it.
Scanning can easily get built into your regular workflow and not having it ready to go can slow you down. This can have real implications if a large network install supporting several users has issues and is not cleared quickly. The loss in productivity as people figure out a work around can be considerable.
Portability of tools that we have normally seen as desk focussed is becoming more common. Mobile printing, mobile scanning and mobile browsing are easily accomplished with the tools available for common mobile devices. You no longer have to wait to come back to the desktop to complete a task.
Technology constantly impacts how we carry out our daily tasks. Giving up one of my tools, even for a short time, showed me that I expect them to be available. When they don't work as anticipated (ever had a computer glitch?) they affect how you approach your work.
This is a caution for anyone who is responsible for provisioning and maintaining the technology tools in an office. Staying on top of the process is important or you can end up with some very frustrated and unproductive colleagues.
Does change in technology frustrate you? What tool would you miss the most?
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