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Changing work patterns

Information technology has led to many changes in how we work, where we work and even when we work. It has had a dramatic effect on our working lives.

History and recent developments

  • Until the mid-90s it was not possible to shop online. The closest alternative was shopping by phone.
  • The same was true for banking and all the host of Government and other services which now exist online.
  • Email [email: electronic mail - a message written or typed on a computer and sent electronically rather than by post ] was not widely used and instant messenger [instant messenger: an application that allows users to send instant messages (text) to one another ] didn't exist.
  • Instead of mobile phones there was a trend for CB (Citizen's Band) radio.
  • Documents could not be sent as email attachments [attachment: a file that's 'attached' to an email is called an attachment ] and were faxed instead (a paper document is digitised, sent down a phone line, and then printed at the other end).
  • The need to travel for essential services, eg banking, was far greater for those who lived outside town.

Recent developments

Today, customers expect even the smallest of businesses to have a professional, informative website [website: a web page or group of web pages hosted on one web server and viewed in a web browser ]. Businesses that have failed to embrace the advancement of communications and ICT have put themselves at a disadvantage.

It is now common for adverts to include a web [web: includes all of the web pages accessible via the Internet ] address in addition to, or even instead of a phone number.

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