Are you a Boomer, ready to take credit for all the cool trends that today’s millennials are enjoying in their offices? Well, of course, you do! However, Millennials have taken those same office tech trends and made them their own.
From digital walls to virtual meetings, Boomers set the stage, and Millennials have run with it.
That’s why we decided to explore the 11 office tech trends that started in the late 1980s but continue on more than three decades later, thanks to Millennial innovators sticking to what works.
So join us as we look back at how this technology came about and how it fuels our productivity today!
#1. Floppy Disks
For tech-savvy Millennials, it’s hard to imagine the days of floppy disks and how important they were in a pre-internet era. But for part of the Boomer generation before them, floppy disks were quite the sensation.
It was an easy way to store data quickly and privately — a welcomed upgrade from previous storage methods like punch cards!
Their prevalence also meant that everyone had access to them which is why floppies grew in popularity so quickly (even if their capacity couldn’t keep up with changing demand).
#2. Rolodex File
Gone are the days of rummaging around your desk, trying to find that important contact information.
The Rolodex File was a revolutionary must-have item for Baby Boomers – the generation’s ‘little black book,’ filled with scribbled names, notes, and phone numbers for friends and family.
From professional networking lunches to long-lost relatives, Boomers will never forget the sound of shuffling through colorful index cards or clicking the satisfying rotary dialer.
It sure beat having to type in endless data into a primitive computer program! Who knew the world would eventually become paperless?
#3. Cell Phones
Do you remember when cell phones were more akin to bricks but still carried the mystique of a revolutionary new technology that only unlocked its potential with years of advancements and market saturation?
Well, it turns out aging “Boomers” were actually quite fond of these early devices – so much so that some even started wearing them proudly on their hips like an extension of their wardrobe.
#4. Personal Computers
In the early days of personal computing, Boomers were absolutely infatuated – and with good reason. Computers provided an incredibly convenient way to accomplish several mundane tasks at once.
No more did you need to scribble down notes on a notepad or punch them into an old-fashioned typewriter; computers could help store information quickly wherever work took you!
Though technology has advanced significantly since then, there was something special about those first PCs that we just can’t seem to shake off even today.
#5. Fax Machines
In the age of high-speed internet and smartphones, it’s hard to imagine a time when people relied on something as archaic as fax machines for their communication needs.
But for many born in what’s known as the Baby Boomer generation, the fax machine meant business — literally!
From its invention in 1843 by Alexander Bain until its increased affordability during the 70s and 80s, these analog devices brought convenience to daily life that was unprecedented at the time.
#6. Lotus 1-2-3
What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions ’80s computing? If you said Lotus 1-2-3, you may be a member (or still a loyal fan) of the Boomer generation.
This spreadsheet software was revolutionary for its time and quickly became a hit with folks across the United States, from students in college to busy business owners.
#7. Dial-up Modem
The old dial-up modem was beloved by the Boomer generation. It may seem outdated and slow to today’s tech-savvy generations, but for those who remember it in the workplace, the sound of its chirping connection meant progress and productivity.
The technology allowed businesses to connect with colleagues across town or around the world, sharing information quickly and efficiently.
It also greatly impacted small businesses, which were able to become more competitive due to their newfound ability to communicate with suppliers and customers at any time of day.
In short, it revolutionized how we do business today – all thanks to that old dial-up modem!
#8. Answering Machines
Answering machines were a staple of the workplace for Boomer generations. These devices allowed businesses to stay connected and remain competitive in the market, as they could quickly respond to customers and suppliers regardless of when they called.
The technology-enabled companies to keep their operations running efficiently and gave them an edge over other small businesses that did not have access to this technology.
They offered a level of professionalism that was hard to achieve without them; potential clients would be more likely to take companies seriously if someone answered their call with a clear message about what services were being offered rather than having no one answer.
These old answering machines provided invaluable support, which helped make many businesses successful during this era – something that will never be forgotten by those who experienced its power first-hand!
As the world became digital, the path toward being able to leave messages on cell phones was started by the humble answering machine.
#9. Analog Dictaphones
Analog dictaphones were an essential tool for the Boomer generations in the workplace. This technology allowed businesses to store and record conversations, taking notes on meetings or phone calls quickly and efficiently.
They saved time by allowing workers to transcribe their recordings later on instead of having to take down every detail during a conversation.
Additionally, the device allowed the ability to share information with colleagues easily; recordings could be sent around offices or even across different countries via mail or fax machines.
It offered a level of professionalism that was hard to achieve without it; potential clients would be more likely to take companies seriously if they had access to such advanced recording devices as opposed to relying solely on handwriting notes.
The pager was one of the most critical pieces of technology for Boomers in the workplace. In an era before cell phones and instant messaging, they allowed employers to stay connected with their employees, often at a moment’s notice.
It didn’t matter if you were at home or out and about; as long as you had your pager on you, your boss could get in touch with you quickly.
The use of pagers meant that workers could be more productive because they weren’t tied down to one location.
The advent of the pager also gave employers more control over their workforce since they knew who was available and when.
Plus, it streamlined communication since messages were sent directly from person to person rather than going through multiple channels like emails or phone calls do today.
#11. Windows 95
When Windows 95 was released in August 1995, it revolutionized the way people worked. For many baby boomers who were already well-established in their careers, this new operating system provided a much-needed update to the outdated computer technology of the time.
The user-friendly interface, with its easy-to-use graphical design, had a huge impact on productivity and efficiency for businesses that adopted it.
It allowed users to access multiple applications at once, which saved valuable time as they no longer had to switch between programs or wait for them to load.
It also made sharing files easier than ever before by allowing users to drag and drop documents from one folder or window into another.
In addition, Windows 95 featured improved security settings that better protected sensitive data from malicious attacks from outside of an organization’s network.
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This article was produced by Career Step Up and syndicated by Mama Say What?!