Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tackling Technophobia in the Workplace

Are you a technophobe? Or do you know someone in your office who is? Now, I know that we all hate computers when they're down, when the internet is slow, when your computer picks up a virus, etc. My husband has been known to complain: "How was I supposed to know that?!" when filling out a basic online registration form. However, these days, we all have to get with it or get going (as in--out the door). Here at BuildSite we are in the business of training people to become more comfortable with software. Here are my suggestions for you non-techies:
  1. Read a tutorial. Software and website tutorials are there for people just like you. You may not like computers but do like reading. Often the tutorials will walk you through each step along the way.They are designed to keep things simple for the beginner user.
  2. Watch a (short) video. Almost all software comes with quick, 3-5 minute flash demos or associated videos. These demos help you find out what you really need to know and not all the details. Also, they're so short, you can do this in your spare time or from home.
  3. Make a call. Okay, these days web-based companies are not always especially fond of providing phone support. But that shouldn't stop you. Reach out to the Customer Service or Tech Support people--they're there to help!
  4. Ask a friend. Friends and coworkers are often willing to schedule a time to show you a few tricks on the computer. It's a great excuse to then buy him/her lunch or a beer after work.
  5. Ask your child. Have your son or daughter get off Facebook and teach you how to use the computer/internet/software! It can be a bonding experience. Besides, they love to show you how much smarter they are than you.
  6. Find a geek. We all know computer geeks who seem to find all this to be simple and effortless. Ask him or her to show you how to do your work more effectively. If she's at your headquarters, she'll be glad you asked!
  7. Google it. It's pretty easy these days to find new technology, services, programs, websites, and YouTubes that can help you be more productive at whatever you do. You can even enter a long-winded question into the search bar and see what comes up.
  8. Contact you industry's trade association. Often trade groups will have resources no one knows about to help you do your work better. They, too, are just waiting to be asked.
  9. Call or email BuildSite Support...there's always a cheerful voice and help when you need it.
Yes, learning something new takes time. But, believe it or not, software is designed to solve common problems and save you time in the long run. So why not take a chance and see if it does?

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