Technological advancements over the past two decades have totally changed the way in which offices across the globe work. The evolution of the personal computer (PC) has provided the platform upon which major advances in word processing, filing, scheduling, communication and access to information have become possible. But just how have such advancements affected the state of employment within offices? During this essay I shall discuss just a few of the major technological changes and identify their impact on office employment over the past two decades. I shall then proceed to analyse what effect these changes have had with regards to gender relations within the office workplace. Finally I shall conclude by giving my insight into future technological developments and what these hold for future employees in the office environment.
It is commonly known that around two centuries ago (pre-1873) the office environment was predominantly a male preserve, where its main function involved the maintenance of accounts and the associated correspondence relating to those accounts. However, a major technological advance, in the form of the typewriter, soon changed all that. Office functions expanded considerably and women were employed in the office for the first time. The technological advance in the past two decades, in the form of the word processor, has all but rendered the typewriter obsolete. The arrival of such a piece of technology can be looked upon from two perspectives. The first, more optimistic' perspective sees the use of new technology as a way of enhancing jobs and upgrading the skills of those involved in office work. In the case of the word processor this considers the new features offered a better user interface, basic editing facilities, and the opportunity to print multiple copies all of which benefit the typist as the user. The second, more pessimistic' perspective sees the introduction of new technology in the office environment as causing jobs...
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