“Come here Mr. Watson, I want to see you!”. The moment Alexander Graham Bell spoke these famous words was the moment technology and communication changed forever. The telephone may have revolutionised our personal lives, but it greatly impacted our working lives, too.
We’ve come a long way since then, and now use more than just phone calls – think email, smartphones, laptops, cloud databases, agile working and online collaborative tools.
With more choice and ability to keep connected with our colleagues and clients than ever before, the standard of communication in the business world is better than ever. While some may argue that it’s increasingly more complicated to stay in touch, particularly when discussion is spread throughout multiple platforms, most of us recognise the sheer efficiency of having an array of communication tools to choose from.
“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.” – Alan Kay (Computer Scientist)
Morse Code – the beginning
In 1836, the Telegraph was developed by innovator Samuel Morse (Morse Code was of course named after him). This machine had a major impact on long-distance communications, revolutionising the way people could send instant messages, working by transmitting electrical signals through wire laid between stations.
The telephone’s impact on the working world
With the help of Thomas Watson, Alexander Graham Bell developed a prototype, using a complex system of soundwaves to hold the first audible conversation over the phone. A long time later, the world’s first mobile call was made when Martin Cooper from Motorola dialled a rival telecommunications company. Now, we all have smartphones; they have slowly infiltrated our working and home lives since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.
Did you know? Since 2017, 1.2 billion phones have been sold.
Here’s a quick guide to many of the other landmark technological innovations that have shaped our working lives over the decades:
You’ve got mail
In 1971, Ray Tomlinson invented email, using the @ symbol to denote sending a message to another user. The first email he sent contained the message “QWERTYUIOP”. Today, email is the most widely used form of digital communication, with more than 600 million users internationally. You might also like to read: Four of the most successful email policies.
1980s – The Fax Machine
Interestingly, the technology behind the fax machine actually predates the telephone, but the use of the fax machine as we know it peaked in the 1980s. In 2018, it is an outdated technology, but faxes ruled the workplace for many years, particularly before the ability to scan documents became widespread.
1989 – The World Wide Web
Today, we probably can’t imagine doing our jobs without the internet, and thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, we don’t have to. Berners-Lee, while working at CERN, invented the World Wide Web, and now approximately 2.3 billion people use it to connect to the internet, uniting us in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.
1992 – Text Message
The first ever text was sent by 22-year-old test engineer Neil Papwell on December 3rd 1992, containing the festive message “Merry Christmas”. Communicating with messaging tools via phone has come a long way, and as it has grown in popularity, so has an abbreviated way of writing our messages, especially as we have various platforms available to use.
Did you know? In 2011, the Oxford Dictionary added the common texting acronym “LOL” (laughing out loud or laugh out loud) to its listing
1997 – Outlook 97
Many of us use Outlook on a daily basis; it was first included in Office 97 and bundled with Exchange Server 5.5, mainly for use as an email platform and diary management system.
Did you know? There are more than 3.7 billion email users worldwide, which means that nearly 54% of the entire planet is currently using email in 2017.
2003 – LinkedIn
LinkedIn, the business social media platform, has come to be recognised as the perfect online resource to manage your professional identity. With over 500 million registered users, the power of connecting in a work capacity online should not be overlooked. You can follow Condeco on LinkedIn or connect with any of our team.
2003 – Skype
An instant messaging app that provides online text message and video chat services, Skype has been a huge success in business, allowing employees to be flexible and communicate with colleagues and customers in other countries and cities. Video calls are here to stay, and the video meeting is only going to grow in popularity. You might also like to read: Six future predictions for Video Conferencing.