It may not feel necessary to upgrade your office hardware or change the software you use. You’ve been able to get the job done fine so far using what you’ve got, so why change? However, the 21st-century workplace is changing on a daily basis, so if you’re not keeping up, your business might be falling behind. Outdated hardware and software have a major influence on the quality of the work you produce and the time it takes to complete it. Other factors like incorporating teleconferencing in favour of standard meetings will also make a big difference. A few simple changes could boost your productivity and get your company ahead of the competition.
Embrace the Cloud
Cloud sharing is a great solution for any company, not just those with offices in multiple locations. For team projects and any documents that need to be viewed or edited by multiple employees, having these documents in a secure, centralized location is ideal. This means that those who need to access documents have instant access to the latest version and tasks don’t come to a standstill while waiting for a copy to be emailed. It also means that employees who are away from work for any length of time can stay on top of things.
Create Uniform Templates
With thousands of emails, documents and presentations created on a daily basis, maintaining a company standard can be difficult. Programs like Templafy store up-to-date templates for your company’s letterheads, PowerPoints and any other documents, giving all your employees easy access. This will cut a lot of wasted time looking for templates, or creating them from scratch. It will also mean all of your employees are using the same template, with the correct branding, logos and information, which can be individualized to each employee.
Hardware Upgrades Really are Worth it
Many companies keep their expenditure down by taking the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to hardware. Unfortunately, this means some employees are working on slow machines that might not have all the specs they actually need. What may show up as poor performance on an employee’s part could simply be a slow computer, which leads to a slower workflow. Older hardware may also not be equipped for the demands of newer software, so it may not function properly.
Ditch CRT in Favor of LCD
While questionable rumors of CRT monitors emitting cancer-causing radiation litter the internet, there are certainly some proven negative effects. It’s advisable to take a break every so often on any screen, but using a CRT monitor for long periods definitely isn’t recommended. Prolonged use can cause eye strain, headaches and nausea, as well as some more severe long-term effects. The health risks, along with the fact that they take up too much desk space and more than their fair share of electricity, means you should really be opting for LCD or LED displays.
Teleconferencing and Telecommuting
Technology has made business in multiple locations far easier by allowing us to teleconference or telecommute where we would otherwise need to travel. Use this to your advantage by avoiding unnecessary meetings – more often than not the same tasks can be accomplished via phone or email.
Teleconferencing may have started over the phone, but have since come a long way. Set up a teleconferencing centre in your meeting room so that you have the option of Skype meetings. Aside from cutting out the commute, these types of meetings are often far more productive and easier to fit into a busy schedule.
Allowing employees flexitime and the option to telecommute may also be worthwhile. Colleagues working different hours can stay in touch via email, phone and other online collaboration tools. For document transfers outside the workplace, use a VPN to keep company data secure.
When it comes to running a 21st-century business, embracing technology is essential. Update your hardware and software to keep your office running smoothly and keep up with the competition. Remember to offer training to your employees when you incorporate new systems – the best tech in the world is useless if nobody knows how to use it.