Friday, November 4, 2011

Macs in PC workplaces

Much has been trumpeted in the twitterspeher and elsewhere about the general studliness of Mac users in the workplace.

This piece probably summarizes the situation well, and quotes from Forrester research. And while it may make individuals more productive, it fails to recognize the burden that Mac users place on the rest of the community. A couple of small cases in point.

A company I worked for had a significant Sharepoint knowledge sharing infrastructure. However, my boss - a Mac user claimed he couldn't get to the Sharepoint site from his Mac, so could I please email him stuff. He - more productive? Perhaps, the jury is out on his productivity anyway. Me, less so because now I have to remember to place the items in the Sharepoint - and mail them to the Macerati. Knock on effect? My mailbox filled every day because instead of sending pointers, I had to send files. The files were often large. So I lost 40 minutes per day managing my mailbox + whatever extra time/effort I expended creating the extra emails.

A second case in point, another boss (and a few people in the company) runs a Mac. The corporate standard for instant messaging is Lync (a Microsoft product). The Mac users don't have access to it (I don't know what the issue is), but it means I am now deprived of the ability to use a very valuable tool in internal communication. Again, my productivity is affected negatively - I try not to worry about the effect on the boss.

The main purpose of the article, however is that organizations should not ignore the needs of Mac users. I think that is all wrong. The organization must ensure that all users are productive - and provide tools that work seamlessly across the user base.