Understanding the tools of your trade is vital to understanding what are your capabilities and also your limitations, because just like there’s a door for every key, there’s also a tool for every task. A painter needs a certain brush for drawing a landscape, a brush that would prove inadequate for the intricate details of a portrait.
In the 21st century business, the computer is both the brush and the canvas.
A computer has two very distinct parts, the hardware and the software, two sides of the same coins, both with their own purpose and performing their own function. The hardware is the foundation, while the software acts as the floors and walls. With a strong enough foundation, we can continue to build and add floors upon floors.
For a simple user, the degree of hardware understanding required to use an office computer isn’t a very high one. The computer can and will run by itself. They may not have become sentient just yet, but computers are an automated system and operate without the need for us to turn any cranks. So why would we need to bother with trying to understand a computer?
Because knowing how to operate a computer makes the difference between simply working and working efficiently.
It’s not the cubicle; the working environment of the modern office is the computer. And being familiarized with your working environment presents many advantages and they all lead to a more productive work activity. Knowing the limitations enforced by your computer’s hardware can prevent you from overloading it, forcing the “foundation” to shoulder more weight that it should.
It may not collapse outright at first, but the walls will buckle and you’ll start having a hard time opening and closing the doors. The wrong applications or a far too large number of software programs, even apparently small, insignificant ones installed on a computer can greatly influence the efficiency of a computer.
And if you think that a modern computer can easily battle any office tasks, try writing a simple report in Word with a few web browser tabs opened in the background. You’ll soon come to look at your computer like a slave, struggling to carry slabs of marble up the steps of a pyramid.