I have just read a great blog by Keith Riley on his 40 year career in reinsurance and how the workplace has changed – from the introduction of the fax machine and emails to working by candlelight in the winter of discontent.
For you youngsters, fax machines were always jamming and the ink faded, but boy were they a technological advancement.
Although my career has not spanned so many decades, the technological advances have lived through are amazing.
I learnt to type on a portable non-electric typwriter – using tipex by the gallon-load, and music came from records or the radio. This was the model of Olivetti I learnt to touch type on…
I remember working at The Scotsman in the 1990s, and there was only one machine hooked up to the internet – the editors were worried someone might hack our system and get access to the stories in the office. There were only a handlful of moblies, all press releases came by mail or fax, and when you were out and about, you had to call in from a pay phone and dictate to a copytaker, who would take down what you said. And to do research you went to the library – no Googling back then.
I remember in Bermuda in about 2000, Bank of Bermuda (now HSBC) was being refurbished and they found an old telex machine in the basement, still hooked up and waiting hopefully for a message. Maybe that is the way emails will be seen in a decade or so. And for those of you who don’t know a telex machine when you see it…
Today’s working world is a much different place. The idea that roll forward just 15 years and you would communicate on a daily basis via something like Twitter would have seemed incredible.
I come fully loaded with my smart phone and ipad.
As a PR professional, not only am I fully hooked up to my smart phone, I have instant access to a world of information in seconds and can communicate in any way I like, from talking to tweeting to facebooking or texting.
So, Mr Riley, thank you for your blog. Who would have thought that 40 years on we would be communicating in the reinsurance market through a blog, and that people would be tweeting our words? The question is what will we be doing to communicate in10 years’ time?