Office Space: Comparing Past and Present, Part 2.
In previous posts, we began the first part of this comparison of the office modalities of 20 years ago and the current ones, taking as a reference the cult film by Mike Judge, Office Space (Trash work in Spain and Office Enredos in Latin America). The differences we saw previously were:
- The change from manual work to automation. 20 years ago, everything was very analog, a lot of paper, many folders, and rooms full of countless file cabinets where they could spend hours looking through past reports. Now we can find all this in a matter of seconds in an Internet’s clouds with a couple of clicks, or even simpler with a voice command.
- Going back and forth to the office is less tedious thanks to working from home, this is more common now as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but thanks to the Internet, many activities (depending on the type of work) can be carried out from home. The last point compared was that of the constant supervision and reports that had to be given in person, now changed by the automation of systems that allow (almost) everything to be evaluated from the comfort of the personal desk.
Let us continue reviewing other key aspects that have radically changed:
- Working weekends in the office vs. Going to the office 3 days a week.
This is also a big change raised by the recent pandemic that we are currently living. Many offices of the past sought to justify the salary by having their workers attend one more day than agreed in their employment contracts, in some cases it was due to the large amount of work accumulated because analog work slowed down the processes. Today, the measures for health care and well-being of workers indicate that office employees only need to go a maximum of 3 days to carry out their work in person (not in all cases), but it is a fact that technology and the Internet have made this possible.
- “Surprise” supervisions and evaluations vs. Automation.
It was common in the offices of the past for employees to do their best to be responsible with their activities as well as with their uniforms or work clothes since there was the possibility that an anonymous manager or employee would announce an inspection or evaluation of the office without prior notice. Many times, most people appeared to be carrying out their supposed activities, given that the same workflow did not always occur. Today these surprise evaluations are outdated, the anonymous manager or employee does not exist. Computers are capable of supervising the workflow and the daily activities that each employee must fulfill.
It is a fact that technology came to drastically transform the ways of working. There are still those who, more driven by nostalgia than by reason, remember the “old days” as better because, obviously, even the most up-to-date systems from time to time then fail (like that time when the computer didn’t turn on anymore or when you accidentally emptied the recycle bin where the report you worked on for a whole week was because you didn’t pay attention to what you were deleting). It is already a fact that the Internet has achieved that many tedious activities of the past were put aside to give more time to those that need a considerable investment of time to innovate, create and produce.