Technology within the office environment has seen many changes in a relatively short period of time, over the past 40 years, nearly every job in the office environment has seen the major changes in the ways in which it is performed, most making the step from being a manual role to computer assisted, this evolution has effectively made businesses more efficient with faster delivery of information and output of workload.
The computer has to be the biggest change, starting with changes from typewriters to word-processors and the beginnings of storing information on floppy disks.
The first computers were bulky and inefficient in the terms of memory and what tasks could be successfully completed on them, yet technology made leaps and bounds forwards correcting these problems and enhancing effectiveness.
Even gadgets such as photocopiers made to leaps in progress to keep up with technology, quickly changing from black and white copiers to include colour copiers into the range. Colour copiers soon took their place in the office environment, making it easier to produce colourful reproductions of leaflets, letters and information, even being able to include your company logo in colour! From here the colour copier also had to evolve to keep up with the advances being made by computer systems.
In the 90's the introduction of the world wide web or the information super highway as it was known in those days, lead the path of networking computers, making the connection with computers all over the world. The internet then was not ruled by Google and many businesses had not yet made the change to having a website as a means of a marketing tool, email was still in its infant stages.
Photocopiers such as the black and white and colour copiers, have still retained their place within the office, as not everything is has made the move from paper to being cyber based, however colour copiers took a step to the side in order to allow the introduction of printers. Printers now allowed documents which had been created on the computer to be printed out, for example letters to clients could be typed on the computer then printed out to send to the client whilst retaining a saved copy of the letter on the computer for client records. Printers had now become networked document solutions and were rapidly being installed in every office around the country.
These days, bringing us right up to date, document output devices such as printers and copiers are often combined in one machine which is integrated as part of the office computer network, often allowing several users to access the printer at any one time. The quality of prints and copies has greatly improved since the introduction of colour copiers, with machines being able to real out multiple copies of work as well as produce double sided copies even stapling your work for you!
Most offices will choose to buy printers as they are an essential part of office equipment with the need for paper documents still being very much a reality in many aspects of clerical work, however most offices which have a photocopier will have probably chosen to lease their colour copier instead of purchasing, this is usually because the need for a copier is far less than that of a printer these days and leasing provides an option to also have a maintenance contract whereby the leasing company will periodically ensure your copier is working properly, perhaps even providing an opportunity within the contract to upgrade your machine after a period of time. Choosing to lease saves the expense of buying, breaking payments into manageable monthly instalments which makes budgeting easier.
Anna Stenning takes a look at the progression in technology within the office environment using colour copiers as an example of how office equipment has evolved.