Gone are the days of legal pads and hand written notes. Now, believe me, I know technology is not the answer to every problem. It can help with efficiency though. Here’s a prime example: “Stella volunteers to take notes at a meeting. She’s scribbling with her pen and paper. A week later, the team asks Stella where the notes form the meeting are and Stella responds, “Oh, I still haven’t had the chance to type them up yet. Sorry!”
I made Stella up but I did not make up the scenario. We expect employees to take notes and send them out in a timely manner. Yet, it takes time for them to transfer what they have on paper to the computer. My other favorite example is when I’m in a meeting and someone references a file on their computer or a website and no one can see it so the person always says, “I’ll send it to everyone when I get back to my desk.”
These simple tasks can sometimes delay important decisions and processes. It keeps people from moving forward. So, get your employees some portable technology! I don’t care if it’s an iPad, a Chromebook or a laptop. I’m not going to argue over what I think is best but just get them something that works.
A portable device at work allows employees to share, collaborate and work together conveniently and efficiently. The meeting notes mentioned above could have been typed up and sent out before everyone left the meeting. The document on the employee’s computer could have been projected on everyone’s portable device for easy viewing and quick decision making.
Below are some comments that I often hear when employees do not have portable technology available to them. They may make you laugh or make you cry. Either way, getting your employees some portable technology may help avoid them:
- “Once I make sense of my chicken scratch [handwriting], I’ll type up the notes and send them out.”
- “If you could see it, you would know what I’m talking about but it’s on my computer at my desk.”
- “I printed 100 copies for the session tomorrow. Do you think I need to print some more extras just in case?”
- “Send out the document so that everyone can print a copy for themselves. We can take notes and send out an updated copy after the meeting.”
- “I know we’re on a conference line so I can’t see you but are we looking at the same thing? Are you sure you have the right document?”
What a waste of time, energy and paper! While technology is not cheap by any means, it is, sometimes, worth the investment. It helps people be more productive, especially when they are collaborating. So, fork up the money and spend it where it counts – portable tech for all employees! We’re heading into 2015, people!