Business

Opinion: Join the high-tech bandwagon or be left behind in post-pandemic workplace

Opinion: Join the high-tech bandwagon or be left behind in post-pandemic workplace

If there is one lesson to emerge from this massive technology-fuelled working-from-home experiment to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is that our new digital ways of connecting with the office will continue — and even ramp up — way beyond this pandemic.

For those who are struggling with using the latest technology to remain connected to the workplace, the messages are loud and clear – if you do not wish to be left behind and given subtle hints that it is time to move on, join the bandwagon and add a few high-tech strings to your professional bow. Luckily, it is not too late to address your digital deficits.

But first, you will need to appreciate just how far along the dangerous journey you are to Jurassic Park, the home of tech dinosaurs whose promising careers were cut short because of their aversion to technology.

A scene from Jurassic Park 3.

An allegiance to the office fax machine might well be a dead giveaway. And beware if you are still wearing a single-function watch with hands. While less serious in the scheme of things, it could be regarded as an indicator that you are from the “old school”. Your younger counterparts will be using their smart phones to tell the time or rely on sophisticated digital watches that perform multiple tasks.

Be concerned if you do not understand or use simple terms such as OMG, LOL and HBU and if your choice of internet browser is the original Internet Explorer.

If you have never paid a bill online, not read a novel using e-reader or scrolled through a digital edition of this newspaper, then the technological alarm bells will be ringing louder than the blows of a hammer. Similarly, if you cannot walk fast while texting, persist in printing documents to read them, are not active on at least one social media platform, and do not connect via chat apps such as WhatsApp and Viber, then you are most likely behind the technology times.

And if you are still relying on a leather-bound, two-day-a-page diary, which if lost will ruin your workday, then you are not on your way to Jurassic Park but took up residence as head of the tech-dinosaur herd a long time ago.

Avoiding the journey to Jurassic Park, where technophobes and tech-dinosaurs alike gather around the waterhole at the end of an illustrious but cut-short career, is as simple as acquiring a technology mentor if you act now.

This new trend of “reverse mentoring” often sees older workers hooking up online with younger tech-savvy colleagues to add some new high-tech arrows to their professional quivers.

And as an older worker, once you have become a shining tech star, pay it forward and be a tech mentor to another technologically lost soul, who once was just like you.