The four stages of our love affair with office systems

Issues of office romances are well known. But is there another office relationship you need to be aware of? Your relationship with your systems. And is it time you broke up for good?

David Quinn: BrightHR Social Media Manager

Type ‘office romance’ into google and you get 6,190,000 results, all giving you advice ranging from the dos and don't, the rules, the dangers, the truth, the reality, nine questions to ask yourself before you start one, why it’s a bad idea, how it can work. Everyone seems to have a view on the office romance and how it might or might not work. We could, of course, give you our views but it’s probably nothing you haven't heard before.

But when it comes to the office is there another type of relationship present? The one you have with the systems and tools you use? And what kind of user are you? Are you committed to one system and refuse to hear a bad word against it? Or are you constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest productivity app that’s going to transform how you work?

With that in mind, we take a look at the stages of your relationship with workplace systems.

Stage 1: The honeymoon period

Like all relationships, your relationship with systems in the workplace starts off as new and exciting. You can't get enough of your new system and you think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, or at least since that old system you had. Everything seems great, you look forward to seeing it most days and you want to tell the whole world how great your new system is.

Stage 2: Making it work (or those little annoyances)

After a while, the honeymoon period starts to fade and you start to see some cracks in your ‘perfect system’. Little annoyances start to creep in, but it’s ok as you still like the system and you're determined to work through the issues. You start to ignore those little niggles or find workarounds to those issues and life continues on until...

Stage 3. The big blowup

At some point, the little annoyances build up, or something goes drastically wrong and then comes the big blowup. The faults aren’t minor anymore, they’re major and your whole view on the system changes. Unlike a normal relationship, this big bust up usually spells the end for a system, especially older ones. It just isn’t working anymore and it’s not you, it’s the system. And whilst you may carry on for a little while you know you have start looking for something different, something that will meet your needs.  

Stage 4: Getting back on the dating scene and finding ‘The One’

Like modern relationships, one of the ways of finding a new system romance is to look on the internet or ask your friends to hook you up. There’s plenty of systems out there and you’ll be spoilt for choice. But how do you know you’ve found ‘The One’? Well, after your last system let you down, you now have a clearer idea of what you want to get out of the system and you’ll probably have a more specific list of criteria that it needs to meet. What’s even better is you can try before you buy. Many systems providers will offer you free trials so you can have a look around and see if it’s the right one for you. Many also operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, so there's no scary long-term commitments.

And of course, just like people, there’s always room for improvement with a little feedback. Most systems these days are cloud based. This means that those annoying little bugs get fixed, and they’re regularly updated with new and improved features. Most software providers will also look to their users for feedback so there’s opportunity to be able to influence what your future system looks like.  

Are your systems meeting your needs? Are you in the market for a new system? Take a look at how BrightHR could be ‘The One’ when it comes to people management