How Did Work Get Done Before Computers?

There are days in the business world that can be frustrating. Perhaps a technology solution isn’t working out quite like you had planned or you lost a big client because of a foul up in communications. You ponder all the moving parts and try to devise new ways to become more effective and efficient. Maybe the answer is getting all your employees smart phones so they can communicate on the go. Or perhaps it’s installing a hosted Microsoft project server. Or maybe it’s just getting back to basics and not worrying so much about what new technology is out there. Indeed, business has been going on forever, or at least before technological advances made business more and more impersonal. So how did business get done back in the day? Easy-it got done face-to-face.

For many, face-to-face might mean a video conference. After all, you can see their face, right? However, no matter how good technology gets there is no way to replicate actually being there. For one, you know the other person traveled just to see you. That makes you feel special, as if you are important enough to warrant a personal visit. You can also see all the body language of the other person. Since so much of communication is non-verbal, this is important. Another plus of face-to-face meetings is you actually have a bit of a relationship with a team member, rather than being a common line item on Microsoft project management software. We’re all people, and that’s what workers knew in the old days. No matter how technologically advanced we get, we’re all still people.

Those face-to-face meetings, as well as countless phone calls and-gasp!-hand-written or typed letters were a great way to forge a relationship with a client. There was no such thing as the internet and no need to learn computer languages or take Microsoft TFS training. There were people, and you had to get to know those people in order to get business done. Sure, you had to know your stuff, but that personal touch sometimes had more to do with getting the sale than what you knew. Part of that spirit is missing from today’s business world, and it might be a good idea to get it back. After all, when your sever crashes and your internet connection dies, there’s only one thing left: the people that you surround yourself with. Choose wisely!