The Copier’s Last Print: Adapting to the Technological Evolution in the Workplace
The once indispensable office copier, a symbol of the corporate world, is heading toward obsolescence.
As AI, automation, and remote work reshape our workplaces, we are witnessing the departure of old symbols and the birth of new norms. The future of work is not only digital but also remarkably flexible and innovative.
The WFH revolution, a response to the global pandemic, provides an apt illustration of this shift. It has granted employees a level of flexibility unprecedented in the history of work. For example, instead of enduring long, tiresome commutes, employees now have the freedom to work from their preferred environments, boosting their work-life balance and productivity.
This new work model is not without its challenges. Some believe remote work has made it harder for employees to maintain visibility and build meaningful relationships with their coworkers, creating feelings of isolation and disconnect. To overcome this, new communication and collaboration systems are, marking a new era of digital camaraderie that far outstrips the social value of the office copier.
“In less than a decade, around 375 million workers globally may have to change their occupations or learn new skills, as per a report by McKinsey. Two-thirds of all jobs will be soft skill-intensive occupations. But what are the necessary skills required for one to remain an invaluable asset throughout the AI revolution? Research points to three things: creative thinking, decision making, and adaptability.“AI, FUTURE OF WORK, OPINION, TECHNODE GLOBAL INSIDER
This transformation demands a reconsideration of the skills that make us indispensable. Copiers don’t require skill to operate, but the tools of the future do. As AI and automation take over mundane tasks, professionals, prospects, and customers will need help developing skills that are out of reach for these technologies.
You can teach them how to be better than AI.
For instance, creative thinking, a skill that cannot be automated, has become crucial. Take the case of a marketing professional in a digital advertising firm. While AI can automate ad placements based on data, it falls on the human professional to come up with innovative ad concepts, branding ideas, and unique marketing strategies. The ability to generate original ideas and solutions gives us an irreplaceable edge in such scenarios.
Decision-making is pivotal in a world swamped with information. Consider a project manager overseeing a complex software development project. Despite having project management tools that automate scheduling and resource allocation, the manager must make critical decisions, like prioritizing features, dealing with unforeseen challenges, or navigating team dynamics, often with incomplete information. The capacity to make sound judgments, even in ambiguous circumstances, is invaluable in these situations.
Adaptability is crucial in our rapidly changing work environment. Imagine the old-school copier salesperson who has traditionally relied on selling hardware. As businesses transition towards a digital and paperless environment, the demand for traditional copiers declines. This situation forced the salesperson to adapt by learning about and selling software solutions such as document management systems and IT-managed services. They needed to understand the complexities of these digital tools and how they can streamline and secure clients’ operations. And you did.
Your readiness to learn and adjust to new technologies and processes is more valuable than knowing the speeds and feeds of a copier. Adaptability is not just about survival but about seizing the opportunity to thrive in the transforming landscape of work.
Bid farewell to the traditional office and say hello to new work paradigms.
– Greg Walters, Head Writer