You spend more waking hours at work (and traveling to and from work) each week than you spend at home (not working). Your ‘life space’ very much includes the space in which you work, and in today’s world, that space is more than likely largely comprised of a computer screen. Therefore, it is important to customise your work space – create a place where you feel comfortable and confident.
In the face of an organizational shift in technology, the simple facts outlined above are paramount concerns. Often this ‘customization of technological work space’ has been maintained by employees holding on to older operating systems that they feel comfortable with. There is often a lot of emotional attachment to these systems, and, although teams loose many hours a week due to discrepancies in technology, this is often considered easier than converting all team members to one more effective system. However, if attention is paid and time is allotted upfront to train employees, manage the emotions associated with change, and lay roads for open communication throughout the transition, your organization can implement a more effective technological work-flow or content management system while establishing a more clear and non-emotional communications infrastructure.
The Story [more bluntly put]:
Technology’s a Bitch… and I mean that in every possible sense of the word. Technology can be a hassle. It can be hard to work with, and it can be fussy, temperamental, and downright difficult.
However, consider that adopting new technology might be analogous to adopting a new puppy. As any dog-owner knows, adopting a new puppy involves much training. When you adopt a puppy, you must spend plenty of time with it and integrate its needs and schedule into your life. This is a process – a learning experience for both you and your new pup.
The more you treat your experience with a new system, software, smartphone, or website as though your are in the process of adopting a new puppy – including the pre-adoption trial period and in-home visits – the easier and more gratifying this transition will be.
Quick tricks to ‘loving and laughing’ with your tech.
1) As you begin the process of learning to use your new product, spend sometime uploading images you find relaxing to whatever interface you might be working with.
For instance: when working with a new technology, I keep a stash of uploaded baby animal images nearby. I refer to these as a calming distraction or break whenever I start to feel frustrated.
While this may sound hokey, keeping cute or relaxing content a click away may dissuade you from being tempted to yell at or bang on your new technology. It can also help you keep from breaking down in front of your coworkers.
Remember that what saves the pup and makes you love her is that she’s so gosh-darn adorable. Your loved ones and office mates will thank you.
2) Give yourself time and many ‘passes.’ Nothing comes out of the box ready-to-use (even if it advertises as much). Play with simple things first – colors, backgrounds, fonts, wallpaper, file titles and organization, and other small customizations that will slowly help you feel at home in your new work-system.
3) When in doubt, ask. Set up a clear process for seeking help. Here is my suggestion:
a) Google your question.
b) Read through forums and watch tutorials for no more that 15 minutes – if you don’t find the answer…
c) Take a walk, look at relaxing images for 2 minutes, or listen to one of your favorite songs – clear your head and release your frustration.
d) Ask a coworker, and / or your in-house IT person – but never go to them frustrated. You will be more pleasant, able to listen, and equipped to learn if you have a clear and open mind.