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I've recently started a new job at an advertising agency, one month ago

It seems like a good place to work, but they have some very dated ways of doing things when it comes to sharing project folders... there is nothing in the way of a server or any cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox) and we have to manually send each other files and folders if one of us is to pick up from where the other left off. This makes sharing files very messy and long-winded.

They also don't use the correct choice of software for certain projects (e.g. we have to use Photoshop for designing websites).

I briefly mentioned cloud storage recently and they seemed quite opposed to the idea... I feel they don't properly understand how cloud storage works.

Everyone else seems quite happy with how things work, I don't think anyone has ever worked anywhere else... and so they've never experienced a more efficient way of working.

I find these processes quite frustrating, but ultimately I'm much happier working here compared to my previous workplaces.

Should I just bite the bullet for the time being and wait until I'm more settled in before I try to get them to improve their work processes? Maybe I should at least wait until my probationary is over.

I'm tempted to speak up sooner rather than later, but don't want to come across as rude or disruptive... being the new guy who wants to get them to completely transform how they do things there.

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  • What is your position? What would you use to design websites?
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 12:53
  • @Kilisi I'd rather not say to be honest, to avoid giving away my identity in the very unlikely event that anyone at my workplace sees this post :)
    – user61842
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 13:08
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    Does this answer your question? How can I get co-workers to buy into some of my ideas?
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 13:14
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    Does this answer your question? Should I propose a big change as a newcomer?
    – AsheraH
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 13:18
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    Isn't Photoshop already on the cloud these days? Maybe, that person was just afraid of the word "cloud". If they like Adobe solutions so much, maybe look into an Adobe-centric sharing solution. And whatever you do, do not mention that dreaded word "cloud", just mention the Adobe product by name. Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 1:29

3 Answers 3

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Servers and domains are unnecessary for small shops. You can share files and folders over a workgroup or even directly very easily. This is just basic networking. There is no need to use cloud storage.

Photoshop is a very comprehensive tool and changing it will push against inertia, people may have spent a large part of their careers using it, they won't want to learn another tool.

Bring up any changes you think necessary after you have proven your worth to everyone and they start thinking you are committed to being there for a while. I don't see one month as being anywhere near long enough for this.

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    Not only, he should look into a solution that works at the local network level, but he should also look into a user-friendly solution that does version control as well. There is not need to use an atrocity like Dropbox. Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 1:22
  • the whole world just uses goog. drive, for better or worse. zero friction solution
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 15:42
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Especially since you're still rather new, I'd consider asking questions over suggesting improvements. For example, instead of saying "we should use a cloud storage service like Dropbox to share project files", ask why they don't use server or cloud storage. Similarly, instead of suggesting using a tool like Sketch or Figma, ask why they are using Photoshop when XD is available at no extra cost.

By asking questions, you open the door for conversations. As part of these conversations, you can talk about tools that you've used in the past and the benefits that you've seen to teams using them.

Since your ultimate goal is to change the organization, some of the advice in the question about getting coworkers to buy into your ideas would be helpful. Changes do have costs and benefits, and there's also a timing factor. Some things are things that you can do on your own with minimal disruption to others.

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    "ask why they don't use server or cloud storage" As I mention below, please be incredibly careful that it does not sound like you are asking a rhetorical question. (If someone asked me "Why don't you use cloud storage?", phrased literally that way, which sounds like a smartass asking a rhetorical question, I'd just let them go there and then, as would most folks.) Note too that, unfortunately, the systems in use are apparently SO BAD! that it really would sound like a smartass rhetorical question!! Yikes.
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 15:41
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There are two fascinating human communication issues here,

  • (1) speaking up immediately is always good, speaking up later is always touchy.

Say Jane arrives at the office soaking wet.

(A) You see here and immediately say "Whoa Jane, what happened, we have that meeting will it be ok, man I forgot my brella too!"

(B) You say nothing. You wonder what to say. You wonder how to raise the issue. 5 hours later you approach her and say "Jane, I wanted to say something. When you arrived today, I noticed you were soaking wet. There's that meeting..."

In the case of A everyone is happy and you're a champ.

In the case of B .......... everyone including Jane will hate you and you will be sacked :)

Stating something is always good, "raising an issue later" is always bad.

What I would have done is, upon arrival and sitting at your desk I would have said "Say, I can get this done much more quickly with Figsketchorama, output's the same, want me to try that to save time? What do you think?"

Now that you've waited a month if you suddenly "raise the issue" indeed it will come off as if you're a whiny complainer with "plans" to "change things".

  • (2) in general terms "phrase everything as a question"

If you're a car salesman, the most basic sale trick is "ask questions". Any question, whatever. It's the basic trick or mode to increase / make happen communications.

Thus when you do raise the issue ...

(wrong) "Steve, I wanted to talk to you about something. I have an idea to save money. It's about our use of ApplePaint. I've been thinking and I could be using Figsketchorama. I believe this would save us money. My plan is to use it on project C."

(right) "Hey Steve I have a question. What do you think. You see this new project C, I can get these done much more quickly with Figsketchorama, output's the same, want me to try that to save time? What do you think? Is this a way we can save time? What do you reckon?"

How to proceed.

Since you "blew it" and didn't just mention the issue on minute 1 / day 1, wait until the next new project hits your desk. And then just say immediately "This looks great Steve. Good eh? Say, I can get this done more quickly with Figsketchorama, output files are the same, want me to try that to save time? What do you think?"

Good luck!

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    Also, ask "is there a reason why we don't use X?" There might be reasons that were good once but are no longer or there might be reasons that the OP never knew about.
    – David R
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 14:36
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    thanks for your answer! to be honest I've not really done much in the way of designing websites there yet... and so I'm thinking about how to suggest it when that time comes. I imagine it won't be too far off. But the main issue for me really is their way of sharing files
    – user61842
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 15:36
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    @DavidR , yes, but be very careful OP how you literally phrase that. Regarding rhetorical questions. Quite simply, using a rhetorical question ever to a superior is being sacked - same. Never ever utter anything that even vaguely could be conceived of as a rhetorical question, in the workplace !!! In this case, what they are using is such garbage that even mentioning it could be dangerous!
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 28, 2021 at 16:25

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