Christmas is the season of spreading good cheer, of spending time with your family and of sharing, caring and giving. Whether this sentiment conjures up images of your own loved ones or whether long motorway journeys, over-excited toddlers, far too much to eat and arguments over the remote control are closer to the mark, there is no denying that for millions of us the Christmas holidays is a time to get together. You look forward to that sacred and precious commodity ‘family time’, even if the goodwill only lasts as long as it takes for the first mulled wine to be consumed!
I think that at the heart of this sentimentality is the fact that as human beings we need personal relationships and interactions in our lives. We do not thrive when isolated from others. As John Donne put it as far back as 1624 “No man is an Island”.
An indicator of people actively seeking these interactions at Christmas is that it appears that the traditional games - dominoes, backgammon, chess, Jenga and Monopoly - are making a comeback. Whilst we continue to hear of the growing trend and concerns surrounding people spending unhealthy amounts of time glued to computer video games, last year department store John Lewis reported a 150% increase in sales of the classic board games in the build up to Christmas. Scrabble, anyone?
So if we value these interactions in our personal lives, should we value face-to-face communication in our business lives? In the online world, we have increasingly become dependent on ‘online’. An overwhelming number of businesses now offer online services and communication options. If your business is one of the few that does not then it would be fair to say you are at a disadvantage.
The advantages of these technologies cannot be underestimated. We increasingly live busier lives and more technology has led to a more demanding workplace. Online may be impersonal but it is also quick. However, the loss of face-to-face can lead to its own problems, such as interpersonal difficulties and miscommunications. Many studies have shown that face-to-face communication is still the best method when it comes to building human networks and stronger relationships. John Naisbitt who wrote the huge bestseller ‘Megatrends’ focused on the idea that “as human beings became capable of anonymous electronic communication, they would concurrently need more close-up personal interaction.”
So the better question may be, how can we make the best of both worlds – technology and face-to-face?
At ePrint, Skyline has been developed precisely to save time for both the Print Room and its users. It is there to enable anyone who wishes to send work to their internal Print Room to do so with a click of their PC mouse, whilst the Print Room receives it instantly as a print ready PDF. No more trips to and from the Print Room with revision after revision, no more email bounces due to file size, no more frustrating personal moments with your office desk top printer!
However, some of our most successful clients are combining their new web-to-print technology with the chance to showcase their services in a face-to-face environment. This is made possible because, whilst Skyline is designed to make life so much easier, it can also be used to open up conversations with your Print Room and its customers. It is designed to make the Print Room much more accessible, rather than isolated and, in some instances even unknown.
An example of one such client is Nottingham Trent University, who combined the move to new printing facilitates with the chance to install Skyline. This gave Carl Calvert, Print Manager, the perfect opportunity to showcase the new location and service to customers during an Open Day this month. Personal invites were sent to academic, administrative, IT and general users and the day divided into hour long group sessions, including a demo and time for Q&As, followed by a seasonal offering of mince pies. At our ePrint our guess is that when the service launches official in the New Year, Carl and his team will have many new friends on-line.