Technology has taken over. If you have read any other posts on this blog, you have probably read something along the lines of “IT is essential for every business”. The reason we say that so much is because it’s true- these days you need some form of technology in order to run a company. But, there are some aspects of business that technology will never be able to replace. So, while you spend time focusing on your IT, make sure you don’t neglect these other areas.
Teleworking is becoming a norm for many small businesses, and with good reason. Teleworking allows the company to save money and space, and allows the employee to have a more flexible schedule without losing any productivity.
But, teleworking is never going to be able to replicate an office environment. Even if an employee has an office in their house, it will never be the same as being in the company office, surrounded by co-workers.
In fact, one of the reasons Network Depot has an actual office space is because we think having an office environment available is very important to the overall attitude of the employees. It also helps maintain a professional environment. With all the technology available for teleworkers- shared drives, online communication such as Skype, etc.- it would be possible for everyone at Network Depot to work from home. But in doing that, you lose that sense of company family. Not to mention that one of the best ways to motivate an employee to do their best possible work is to surround them with people who are committed to producing high-quality work too.
Excellent Customer Service
Online chat systems, ticketing systems, automated phone systems- all these tools allow clients to submit requests and interact with businesses without ever speaking to a live person. So, why is it that people tend to call up a company instead? Wouldn’t it be easier to write an email or chat online?
Possibly, but in doing so the client loses something very important- the feeling of being valued. I think that people like calling in to companies because when they talk to a real person, they feel more assured that their problem is understood and will be taken care of. Customer service is about being able to empathize with a customer, and it is very hard to convey empathy without even speaking over the phone to someone.
Ok, so we’ve established that speaking to a real person is important- but with all the different technology sources out there these days (webcams, Skype, etc.) why is it still so important to have meetings in person? With a program like Skype, you can virtually attend any meeting, and you are able to see the person you are talking to. Doesn’t that make up the difference?
In some cases, sure. And with these technologies, virtual meetings have become more common, simply because they are now so easy to do. So why is face-to-face still important?
It can really be explained in that one word from before- value. By having a face-to-face meeting with someone, you are showing them that they are important. You are taking time out of your busy day to go meet this person, which means that their opinions, their feelings, and what they have to say is more important to you than the other ten million tasks you have to do that day. And because that person is going to feel much more valued, they will put that much more stock into you and your company.
The Human Connection
When you boil all those other reasons down they have one thing in common- the human connection. Yes, we live in a world where we can very easily communicate through our technology and eliminate the need for face-to-face, or even phone, interactions. But I don’t believe those will ever be pushed aside.
Don’t get me wrong, technology advancements have allowed businesses to be much more efficient and productive. Teleworking, cloud systems, mobile devices- these are all wonderful advancements that have really contributed to the success of companies all over the world.
Still though, every person, whether they are an employee, customer, sales person, or manager, needs to feel recognized and listened to. That human connection will never be able to be replaced, no matter how good our technology gets.