The Evolution of Office Space: 80s-90s Devices That Were Transformed Into Neat apps

office space evolution

Not too long ago, people were talking about the paperless office. As more and more records and work documents were digitized and went online. Now we’re in the next stage of the evolution of office space. When office devices like fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and cassette recorders are being replaced by apps. Apps that work both on computers and mobile devices. These apps actually combine the best of both worlds. Preserving the functionality and security of the original devices with the mobility and accessibility of the new internet technology.

How Technology is Changing Office Space

The internet has changed our lives in many different ways. Not least in the way we work and even how our office space is organized. Paperwork and forms that used to take up vast amounts of physical space now live in the cloud. which is actually based in some data storage facility in a place you’ve probably never even heard of. Office devices like fax machines, scanners and photocopiers are being replaced by apps that can be used on computers and mobile devices like tablets and phones.

Some Office Devices That Became Apps

When you’re looking for apps that have replaced standard office devices, you’ll find not just one but several options. Developers compete to produce the most useful as well as usable apps. Whichever office device you’re looking to replace with an app, you have plenty of good choices.

Fax machines

Older people will remember fax machines and the way they would spew out endless pages of junk faxes. Even when the faxes were relevant, they used reams of paper. Making connections was tricky. And you could only send a fax to someone who had a fax machine. Phone fax apps, which are quickly replacing fax machines, take the most important thing about faxes, namely, being able to send and receive authentic documents to and from a trusted location, and bring them into the twenty-first century.

To the basic fax function, phone fax apps for Android and iOS users add the convenience of being able to send and receive faxes from any location, at any time, anywhere in the world. Apps like iFax, Tiff Fax Viewer+, Breezy Print, and Fax and FaxBurner all let you turn your phone or other mobile devices into a mobile office. All you need to do is to open an account, get your free fax number, and you’re good to go.

Photocopier and Scanner

Ah, the good old days, when entire forests were chopped down to provide paper for photocopies of boring documents for weekly office meetings. Luckily the workspace has been thoroughly transformed by the revolution in digital and internet technology. Nearly all paperwork can now be shared online and stored in the cloud. But there is still the time when you need to scan, copy and share documents, and yes, there’s an app for that. Several apps, in fact.

When it comes to scanning apps, there’s a bewildering range of choices and you may be confused about which one is the best for your purposes. For example, different apps can scan even small items like receipts and business cards. Others can analyze the results for actionable insights. ABBYY FineScanner and Dropbox Business are more conventional choices for offices. While Evernote Scannable and Genius Scan Plus are more versatile and can scan notes, receipts, and other smaller items. Adobe Scan is a competent app, as you’d expect, but does require in-app purchases.

And One That Didn’t

Come on, you can guess this one. The one indispensable office machine you need to get rid of all incriminating documents just before the feds break down the door in a predawn raid….just kidding, actually. But as you’ve guessed it, one office machine that hasn’t been replaced by an app is the shredder.

Shredders aren’t always used to destroy evidence of criminal activity. They are indispensable to many offices, including medical and legal offices, to destroy confidential records that are no longer needed.

As the workplace changes and comes to rely increasingly on the cloud and the internet, office devices like scanners, fax machines, and photocopiers are being replaced by mobile apps. These apps can do everything the old office machines could do, with several added advantages.  Resulting in less and less office space required. With designers and programmers competing to create new and useful apps, you can find the ones that are most suitable for you.

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Irfan Bajwa is emerging business enthusiast and passionate blogger and writer on a versatile level.

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