Friday, May 4, 2012

Are you a workplace hack?

In an interesting article on the BBC website, author Josh Klein argues that we should embrace the concept of workplace hacking. Workplace hacking involves finding ways round restrictive systems in the workplace. His first example involves the use of Google Docs.
Find one hated piece of software you're "required" to use and Google a workaround; use Google Docs instead of Excel, Drop Box instead of Sharepoint, or whatever it is you're saddled with. Try it for a week or two. See how much more efficient you are.
Many will recoil in horror at the idea of employees using these systems that are not in the control of the organization, but whether it's liked or not, the truth is this is happening everywhere. It's like BYOD (bring your own device). You can argue that it's dangerous and should not be permitted, but it happens.

IT departments need to embrace the technology users find most effective. If they want to retain control, find out more about why they prefer Google Docs to Sharepoint (after all, who wouldn't). Integrate the systems your users like into your organization. You may even find you same some money.

The enlightened organizations I'm working with who have started to incorporate Google Apps have been pleasantly surprised at the administrative control the can retain. These tools are not just for consumers, but increasingly used by business to both reduce costs and increase productivity.