Until now, we always knew our office PC. He was the linchpin of the entire organization. And once it failed, nothing else worked. You could do backups, but rarely have you done them, so it was a disaster when the marvel of technology was no longer a peep.
The cloud-based workstation has two huge advantages over it. On the one hand, it is cloud-based and therefore much better secured than our home PC. If a graphics card breaks down or the power supply unit stops working, no one can work on the home PC. A server solution is conceivable in principle, but very cost-intensive for smaller companies and solo entrepreneurs (quite different from the fact that it makes us location-dependent again). A cloud solution, on the other hand, creates a virtual workplace that is completely independent of one’s own technology. If the tabletop falls down, the smartphone breaks down or gives the power supply the ghost, the workplace can be reopened immediately via a replacement device.
Applications can be installed on such a virtual workstation and are often usable with multiple users – just as in the analog world. The difference this time is only significant that these users no longer have to sit in an office community, but can be distributed anywhere in the world.
Digital media as work tools
It’s as simple as it sounds: if you want to work digitally, you need a digital medium. These include tablets, smartphones, laptops or the good old PC at home. It is required as a basic requirement only one device and a connection to the Internet. The big advantage of working digitally at the point, however, is that it is completely irrelevant which device is used. In the office it can be the PC, at home the laptop and on the go the tablet. While this used to be unthinkable and had a permanent workstation connected to a PC, today’s virtual workspace can be accessed from anywhere.
And here entrepreneurs and employees can choose exactly the medium with which they can do their job best. The use here is almost unlimited, as long as it brings the technical requirements. Even the combined work is possible with the help of the media and completely decoupled from place and time.
Digitization is worthwhile for everyone
The fixed workplace in the office is becoming less and less necessary in many ways. That does not mean at the point that the workplace will be dissolved in itself. Rather, the owner of this workplace or the provider of work here can decide freely. The office community is something that we still appreciate today. We get in contact with other people and can exchange ideas. But this advantage is also a disadvantage when it comes to work concentrated and undisturbed.
This is where digitization comes into play. With the help of the media and the technology, it will be possible for every employee in the near future to do his job completely without being tied up. This may be the single parent who wants to work part-time in the evenings for a few hours. At the same time, however, employees who are traveling or who would like to live for private reasons in any other place in the world can also be hired.
In my view, this creates huge opportunities for us as entrepreneurs, because we can access resources that were previously denied us for technical reasons. At the same time, it provides employees with a great opportunity to match their private lives with working life. It no longer determines job or the employer about the structuring of life, but the employee himself can exploit the opportunities here.
And before we complain about social isolation: each appointment can be held with a camera on the appropriate application or there is even a fixed office day in the week, if this is necessary to make the vote face-to-face. In this respect, digitization offers opportunities and additional opportunities that do not exclude the well-tried.
Digitization saves costs
The paper tiger in the office will be hungry in the long run and become very lonely. The digital administration of documents in a cloud and the access of all parties involved, such as employees, but also external persons such as tax consultants, service providers or customers, mean, among other things, that in the office it will become very lonely in the long term. In case of doubt, paper will not arrive here any longer and so the well-used term of the paper tiger will eventually become extinct. With regard to the costs for printing paper, copy paper and the technical means there is a great savings potential.
At the same time, smaller companies and individual entrepreneurs can also ask themselves whether their own office is even necessary. Neglecting the social component, the space is completely unnecessary due to the digital possibilities. Those who would like to meet can use it for conference rooms, cafes or office communities. The open-plan office seems to be the discontinued model here.
And those who have an office and would like to keep it, will have to consider alternative design options. Once the big devices have disappeared and the paper in the office is no longer visible, this gives the chance to set up the office as it pleases. Completely new concepts can be conceived and tried out, with which the productivity can be promoted. I do not want to call it a feel-good haven, but in terms of comfort and quality of life, you can take some steps forward.
Which areas can be digitized?
Depending on the size of the company, some areas can be separated from others. The purchase of products and services is technically different than the bookkeeping department, which pays bills and prepares tax statements. And so it goes once across the enterprise, whereby probably only the range personnel particularly in small one-man enterprises can be neglected as not present, as long as no own content is paid out.
But I would like to look at the place from a little further on the company and illustrate it with a chicken example. Perhaps the comic from old youth days is still known when the PC was circumscribed with a chicken. The head and beak were described with “in-put”, the complete torso with “put-put” and the tail with “out-put”. I would like to highlight exactly these three areas, as they are equally relevant to each of the aforementioned departments.
The in-put area
This of course means the inbox. The company can receive incoming messages on many different channels, which must be further processed in some way. This can be classic with the post office, by fax, by mail, by phone or even with a visit. From smoke sign and bottle post I would like to advise on the site.
Especially the e-mail as well as the fax are already digitized data at the place. Here, the primary task is to keep this medium digital, edit it and then put it down. Somewhat more challenging is the receipt mail. We will certainly not be able to prevent the written word on a piece of paper, but it can be contained in everyone. The key to this is a service provider to which the incoming mail is forwarded. This digitizes them and makes them available to the entrepreneur in their own, of course, virtual, area for further use. Here too, the connection to the following media must be selected in such a way that the document remains available digitally and does not have to be printed out somewhere. In addition, suppliers, service providers and all others who send mail should be made aware of the possibility of digital document transfer.
Calls and subsequent notes as well as transcripts of personal conversations can be immediately digitized using various software tools. Whereas the past was written on the classic self-adhesive notepad, this can now be processed completely digitally. No one has to stick the classic self-adhesive slip of paper to his colleague’s desk as To Do. Rather, this can now be done digitally via calendar entries with the corresponding programs. So no quality is lost, but much paper does not even have to be produced.
The put-put area
Within each company there is always communication. This can already be present at a sole proprietorship who notes things or visualizes problems. Here, as an entrepreneur, we have the greatest possible influence on paper consumption. Be it magazines, business journals, books or the mentioned own notes – everything can be digitized or used in an already digitally created version.
Task scheduling can be done completely digitally. There is nothing on the spot that needs to be written down somewhere on a piece of paper. Software solutions linked to corresponding apps allow access to work scheduling and calendars from any point in the world.
Presumably, here is the biggest lever but also the biggest obstacle. Old habits lead to a certain anxiety, whether retracted and proven processes also work in a new environment. In this respect it always depends on the experiment. And with every new attempt, digitization will prevail, until everything is finally switched to virtual work.
The idea of a clean, bare workplace – a completely empty desk with a monitor, a mouse and a keyboard – was always my motivation to realize the vision. And even today, with every new task, this is my goal to find a way to implement them without the use of paper. Exceptions are allowed. However, these must be limited to mandatory original documents that justify their compulsion in official regulations.
The out-put area
We too, as entrepreneurs, produce a lot of documents and data. Again, we are the ones who can take responsibility for it. Offers, information letters or invoices are probably the most common documents that we send to our customers. All of them always require us to take these documents for ourselves. Of course, this is the digital version, which is only communicated to the receiver by electronic means. At the same time, the document is stored for us as an entrepreneur in our own cloud and is always accessible, if there is a corresponding need.
Especially in the outbox, digitization gives a huge advantage. We as entrepreneurs can set a good example and make our documents digitally available to our business partners. What sounds so self-serving and without doubt also means for us at the same time a complete decoupling of place and time. We no longer rely on a postman or mailbox, but can provide the documents as we please. With the right software tools or the use of service providers, even the creation of documents such as offers and, above all, invoices can be outsourced and automated, so that no