Although the use of computers is prevalent, the ideas of how to use them more efficiently and optimally still escapes most people. This can become a major obstacle within a business environment. After all, if you’ll be using computers and their software as your most important tools in the workplace, you ought to do it properly. This could be something you understand, especially if you read this blog. But what if you’re the only one who understands this in the office?
It’s a familiar situation to most tech-inclined people. You find a new and more effective way to do things, try to share them with others, but they say “No thanks! I don’t want to be bothered with all that!” If you know from experience or merely have a hunch that your coworkers are like this, is it even worth it to try?
Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. But, like most things, you’ll never know until you try.
Start with a small suggestion. Don’t start planning an online collaboration system just yet. Maybe a simple suggestion of installing instant messaging software so you and your coworkers can easily ask each other questions and get instant answers without running from one office to another. Changing the underlying system has to happen in little steps, if you want it to happen at all.
Be the example. Since you’re trying to share the idea that some tools increase efficiency, start with yourself. Show how efficient you’ve become as a result of competently using these tools.
Don’t be surprised if they don’t love how efficient you are. I’ve found that some supervisors give more importance to tradition and “time-tested process” than actual results.
Get someone on your side. Even if it’s just one person. Convert them one-by-one if you have to. Since you’re the only one who knows about web apps, productivity software, and GTD, others might consider you an alien who makes things more complicated. If another person gets great results from what you preach, then others are more likely to follow.
Learn to accept that there are some things you can’t change. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best, but don’t get your hopes up that working for your company will soon be like working for Google – where everyone is updated on the latest trends and ideas on technology. There will be some things that will be very difficult to change and there will be obstacles to your path. Of course, this doesn’t equal defeat. As long as you can still use your tools and processes yourself, and as long as your input is appreciated in some way, you’ve made a difference.
Are you the only tech-inclined person in the workplace? How do you deal with people who aren’t maximizing the web and the software tools at their disposal?