Technology touches, like it or not, nearly every aspect of our contemporary lives. The same holds true in the personal service profession. It is not the old-fashioned domestic environment portrayed on shows like Downtown Abbey. While the sophistication and elegance has not changed, the household operations and staff expectations certainly have, particularly when it comes to technology. Here are a few tools of the trade that every service professional should know and consider, no matter your title:
Smart-Phones’ Integral Role in Domestic Jobs
Technology plays a central role in household communication. There is no single tool more important for this purpose than a Smart Phone. A personal chef may receive a text with an additional request from the grocery store, a Chauffeur might receive an e-mail from an office based assistant with the principal’s itinerary, and a Nanny may check in with working parents by sending a photo from the park with their little one(s). Using a Smart Phone means access to text, e-mail, photo, and video-chat to communicate efficiently. But a Smart Phone is used for more than communication; it is also a highly useful employee tool. Snapping a quick photo to remember the placement of objet d’art on a coffee table after dusting it, for example, can certainly make work life easier, no? Consider a smart phone not just as an expensive personal phone, but a professional investment. Depending on an employee’s job description, an employer may even provide a Smart Phone. The cost, however, for such valuable devices has fallen dramatically over recent years making them more widely accessible. If you do not already own one, you may want to consider purchasing one in the future.
Automated Home Technologies
If you want to make a House Manager cringe, tell them something has gone awry with the Crestron (home automation) system; that the home movie theatre is mysteriously without audio or perhaps that the automatic shades have jammed. State of the art technology is part and parcel of luxury residences. And, with all the conveniences come the headaches. Things are going to go wrong and it often falls on the House Manager to troubleshoot and ensure the security and other automation systems are running smoothly. If you want to stay ahead of the curve as a House Manager, get yourself interested and educated with different home automation software and their applications. Who doesn’t like to be the hero of the household when the music gets back on track?
How to Use Your Technical Know-How on The Job
OK, not all jobs require a working knowledge of computers and Smart Phones. But, those positions are getting fewer and further in between. If you already use e-mail, can conduct a simple Internet search and can place an online order (e.g. Amazon or Fresh Direct) you are in good shape. For those who do not know how to do these basic computer-based tasks, invest in yourself by learning! Don’t be intimidated by technology, embrace it. Besides, it is so much easier than it looks and there are lots of free classes to help. Ask your public library! The beautiful New York Public Library located just a few short steps from our office, offers technology classes at varying levels of proficiency to help new Yorkers learn the ropes or hone their skills.
We leave you with a departing technology tip. Let it work for you and not against you. Employees should never post photos or comments about their employer’s home, travel, vehicles, art, or other assets. In some cases, while unintended, posting such things may also part with security precautions and/or non-disclosure agreements. Finally, protect your own privacy. Be sure to check your privacy settings on all social networking platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Prospective employers and placement specialists like us often run a simple Google search on potential applicants to ensure there is nothing compromising. Keep private life private.
Hire Tech Savvy Household Staff
At Pavilion, we understand the value of having household staff who understand the technology in your home and familiar with smartphones and today’s other communication technology. Please fill out our family application and we can introduce you to a computer and technology savvy household employee. Additionally, contact one of our Placement Specialists who would be happy to initiate a search today.