The Biggest Change
My theme for the last few weeks has been how things have changed in our industry since I started forty years ago, but also how many things have remained the same.
Last year, I was interviewed by Estate Agent Today (If you missed it click here) on a wide ranging list of topics. The last question as you will see, was about what was the single biggest change in the work place that I had seen. My answer was not Technology.
It’s difficult for most people under the age of forty to imagine a world without email. It’s impossible for most people under the age of thirty to think of life without social media. Well, it is completely impossible for anyone under the age of fifty to imagine the working world as I described it in that interview. They say the past is a foreign country, well the 1970’s was a different planet.
Critical though Digital Technology is to all of us - for me it has not had as fundamental a change on the way work is done as that brought about by Equality Legislation. The workplace now is far more balanced, far more inclusive and, most importantly, more meritocratic. “If you’re good enough then you’re good enough, nothing else is relevant”. You people under fifty don’t know how lucky you are.
The most important point is how the seeds of great customer service are far more likely to grow in this modern enlightened work place. It is no coincidence that it was in the old “male, pale and stale” working environment that British Leyland built rubbish cars, British Rail ran a rubbish train service and the Post Office (yes kids the Post Office) would only install a phone in your house if you asked very nicely and waited several weeks.
So, of course, this Digital Age is transformative. The everyday tools with which we all do our jobs were unimaginable forty years ago. Their invention would have changed the world whatever else was going on.
But these tools are only really only of full value in the hands of capable, motivated and engaged people…..and you’re far more likely to see that in today’s workplace than ever you would have done in 1978.