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Human beings are creatures of habit, and change can be incredibly difficult for us. There’s a good reason why so much training and development is given to managers in the process of change management and how to manage change. When it comes to change, the internet is something of a wrecking ball, however, and has over the last few decades consistently disrupted the way we do business in many meaningful ways. Here are a few traditional things that have been changed forever by the proliferation of the internet in the modern business environment.
The Way We Communicate
The biggest and most recognizable change in the way the internet has changed for business is the way we communicate, how quickly we can communicate, and the pace at which this allows business to operate. Ever since email started becoming the de facto standard for communication for business, the pure speed at which we work and our production requirements as employees has been on a steady increase. Instant messaging and video conferencing have made communication even more convenient and quick. Even the humble PO box is being usurped by an internet-enabled virtual mailing address, offering businesses a way to effortlessly receive mail into a virtual mailbox instead of physical mail. There is also a trend toward replacing cell phones with cloud-based solutions. As technology advances, cloud business phones are becoming more popular because they cost less and are easier to set up.
The Way We Sell Products
Ecommerce has seen phenomenal growth since the early 2000s, and not having the ability for your customers to shop online and have their purchases delivered is seen as the exception and not the norm. It’s not just the change from brick and mortar to online that’s driving this change; it’s the way we sell products because even the traditional web store and ecommerce store is evolving with the advent of ecommerce platforms on the largest social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
The Way We Do Marketing
While we’re talking about social media, we should also mention marketing. Adverts in the local broad page newspapers are a thing of the past, and even traditional sponsorship is evolving to make way for internet and digital marketing practices. The internet has made a way for a new and more interactive way of marketing products. Social media is only the basis of how businesses need to do marketing now and embracing online and social media influencers and product endorsements are becoming not only advantageous but outright necessary.
The Way We Work
Particularly recently, with the forced move to remote working, the internet has transformed what it means to be an employee. From fully remote roles that don’t ever require physically being in an office environment to a hybrid or occasional work from home programs, the interconnectivity of business systems and their accessibility from anywhere in the world means that the way we work and interact with each other has forever been changed by the internet.
The Way We Recruit
The internet has taken our ability to reach and advertise the available open positions and jobs in our business to an almost infinite global audience thanks to the proliferation of services like LinkedIn and Indeed. The talent pool available to businesses is much broader than it has ever been because we no longer rely on traditional methods of attracting talent from a rather local pool. In-house recruitment and even external recruitment and recruitment processes have been forever changed by the internet. Your next star-performing employee is a mere internet search away.
On the opposite side of the coin, these same changes apply to those looking to be employed, and the need to market ourselves and our own skills have changed dramatically too.
The internet has changed everything about how we live, work, and play in the modern world, and it continues to do so as new start-ups and technology companies disrupt our traditional methods of accomplishing tasks. The way the internet has changed our business and professional life are at a blistering pace and we have no choice but to go along for the ride. After all, change is easy, right?