Efficient workplaces are able to seamlessly collaborate, communicate and complete work quickly to a high standard. Teams who are able to do the best work in the time allocated are collaborative, agile and able to focus on their tasks.
Culture, good hiring decisions and solid management are critical for workplaces to be as good as they can be. However, the tools you and your team have also play a big role in this success. In particular, technology. There are many types of technology your business could be using to get the most out of the hours spent dedicated to working.
Here are the top seven technologies to consider if you want to increase productivity and improve efficiency in your workplace.
1) Virtual offices
Virtual offices are spaces where businesses can run the physical office-related side of their business without the financial and administrative overhang of owning premises or maintaining a long-term lease.
Not only can a virtual office provide you with the professionalism of a corporate address, phone answering services and a mail sorting service but it frees up your staffing resources to manage more productive and efficient tasks. A virtual office is the best of both worlds giving you the corporate atmosphere when required but not impeding on the flexibility required to ensure teams work at their best.
2) Fast internet
High-speed commercial-grade WiFi networks have become non-negotiable for businesses in this era of connectivity and increasingly remote-based work. Fast internet connections ensure you don’t waste time waiting for downloads and can have real-time conversations with colleagues and clients. It’s critical to ensure you have a seamless digital experience without unnecessary lags, delays and buffering.
3) Video conferencing services
There is no better substitute for in-person meetings than good video conferencing software and, with more teams working remotely or telecommuting, connecting digitally has become the norm. This connection could be through Microsoft’s Teams, Google Hangouts, Skype or the popular Zoom platform, but deploying one of these services can ensure you have productive meetings regardless of where you and your clients or team are located.
4) Digital collaboration tools
Efficient workplaces have made the most of new collaboration technologies such as Monday, Basecamp or Trello. These are digital services that allow you to track deadlines, view your team’s work in progress and follow projects from any location.
5) Messaging programs
With teams working in diverse locations and often during flexible hours, having a better way of staying in touch than disruptive phone calls or a bogged-down email inbox is a worthwhile consideration. There are many new messaging tools that can be explored, including Slack and Teams. These tools allow you to contact colleagues, clients and sometimes external parties and set up working groups to discuss projects. They are a smoother way of communicating in the modern working world.
6) Hardware and physical assets
All these new technologies will mean higher demands on your physical computers and devices. Many of these software products are compatible across devices but you should consider what you use for work and whether it is doing the job as efficiently as possible.
Typically, laptops will include a decent webcam however setting up a spot that looks professional but doesn’t limit your ability to shift your workspace is important. You should also consider high-quality headphones, microphones, additional screens and the graphics and memory capabilities of your computer or laptop.
Outside of your device itself, you should also consider the physical space options for your team. This may include occasional office space for teleconferencing and more professional filming options.
7) Remote tech support
As with anything in life, things go wrong. When you’re relying on technology to take the noise out of your work and ensure your business can be more efficient and productive, the last thing you want is for this technology to get in the way and cause problems. Having some form of IT support and cybersecurity assistance on hand is a feature many small businesses are increasingly recognising as a necessity.
Technology offers a wealth of opportunities to get your team working more productively and efficiently. However, it can be overwhelming to work through the best set-up from scratch or to reconfigure your existing style of collaboration.