Technology has allowed businesses to innovate more and more. From massive, clunky personal computers, we have evolved technology to fit into the palm of our hand and even business technology has evolved to that point. When the first iPad came out, there were very few business applications for it – and now many companies are changing their entire infrastructure, software applications and tools just to support the use of these devices. Without a doubt, the past few years have been an absolute game changer when it comes to business technology. But as much as it has helped businesses, it has also introduced a lot of distraction to the workplace. Social media, news websites, online gaming and other applications are distracting employees. It’s bad enough to make some companies completely lock down online access during company time. Rather than censoring what your employees are able to do while on the job, here are a few technologies that can help boost their efficiency.
Change inter-office communication.
Since instant messaging has become more popular in the business world, applications like Skype, Linc and other IM platforms are becoming more and more popular for communicating with our clients. In order to increase efficiency, make these tools available on your office workstations. Rather than worrying about how an instant messaging software could inhibit productivity, broaden your mind and consider your employees being able to get a hold of one another during meetings and phone calls. Rather than having to get up from their desk to check if the person is available, they can simply IM them and get the required information or ask them a question on a project or issue that might have to wait until later. There’s no doubt that your office needs an instant messaging software. We recommend different options based on your infrastructure and requirements, but generally Linc and Skype are great options for most businesses.
Make meetings more efficient.
There’s nothing worse than a meeting that drags on and on, or one that doesn’t start on time because of an employee that is running late, or doesn’t have all their information available. Be sure that your conference room is equipped with technology that allows for video and phone conferencing, tools to pull up company documents and a way to display any employee’s laptop screen. Microsoft recently introduced their Surface Hub, which, once introduced, makes a great option for many medium sized businesses that need to collaborate, but for as little as $99, you can get an Apple TV or download the Air Server application to allow for simple screen sharing during a meeting. This eliminates squinting at a small screen or printing documents for the team to view during a meeting.
Upgrade their workstation.
Outdated technologies and workstations are a huge issue for many otherwise savvy, efficient employees. Take the time to assess applications, tools and workstation upgrades that might help with efficiency. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy and entirely new workstation (though we do recommend that you refresh workstations every 3 to 5 years). In some cases, something as simple as additional RAM, a cleanup or maintenance could help get them back to optimal efficiency. Don’t ignore the impact that outdated technology can have on your employees happiness.
When it comes to efficiency, we need all the help we can get. Embrace technology in order to help your employee meetings, day-to-day interactions and work environment be as productive as they possibly can. Don’t forget that adopting a culture of innovation will help motivate your employees to be part of the shift and take productivity into their own hands.