It may be hard for some to believe, but there are plenty of people who have never worked a day at a job that required them to take a paper check to the bank and fill out a deposit slip. That used to be the norm on payday, but nowadays, a majority of companies opt to use direct deposit to pay their staff. That’s not the only thing that’s gotten more sophisticated as the years have passed. If you took workers from the 1950s and dropped them into an office in the year 2017, they would pass out from the shock. The quickly advancing pace of technology has some downsides, to be sure, but in general, modern advancements have made life easier for both employers and employees.
People born in the new millennium have trouble imagining a world before search engines. What did people who wanted to know things do before the Internet? Well, they went to libraries, or they looked it up in an encyclopedia, or sometimes they just tried to go on with their life without knowing the answer to a question thirty seconds after the question first formed in their minds. Nowadays, if you can’t sleep at night, you can spend some time looking up the reason why the 1919 Stanley Cup was cancelled after five games had already been played (it was because of the influenza pandemic that killed millions around the world, which is a great tidbit to drop during a first date).
It’s one thing to not know random bits of trivia, but it’s another thing to be unsure of whom to call when you need someone to repair your home’s heating system. Phone books seem like a relic of the past now, but they were once a vital source of information for communities. They couldn’t tell you if a business had a good, bad, or nonexistent reputation, though. In the year 2017, if a single mom in Jersey City is looking for someone to repair her boiler, all she has to do is get on her computer or smartphone and type in something like “residential heating services in Jersey City” or “residential heating services Hudson County NJ.” If her device can detect her location, she may just need to search for “residential heating.” Good companies use the power of the Internet to expand their customer base.
Twenty years ago, you could drive through town and figure out when payday was based on the line of cars that filled the local drive-thru lanes at banks and credit unions. If paychecks were handed out at 4:30, there was a mad rush to get to the bank before 5 p.m. closing time. Nowadays, most companies just don’t use paper checks at all. Instead, they use a fancy payroll system that ensures the money appears in directly in your bank account. All that time spent waiting in line at the bank resulted in lost productivity, but thanks to direct deposit and other advances, that’s not an issue anymore. Employees can log into their bank account from their phone to make sure that this week’s paycheck has posted. That gives them more time to focus on the actual work at hand.
There are a few workplaces that do still use paper checks, but even then, most employees shouldn’t have to leave work, drive to the bank, and wait in line. Instead, they can deposit the checks using their smartphone. You can use your phone’s camera to take photos of the front and back of the check, then fill in the amount of the check, and you’re done. It’s both satisfying and simple.