4 Modern Tools for the High-Tech Office (Hint: These Will Impress Both Guests and Employees)

You can tell your staff and your customers that you value efficiency and technology all day. You can incorporate the words “modern” and “cutting edge” into all your website copy. But if your staff and visitors walk into your office and see outdated tools and processes, they’ll know where your priorities really lie.

Committing to stay modern goes much further than upgrading your employees’ computers and equipment. You commitment should be reflected in the rest of the office, too, with tools designed to make modern office life a little easier and more comfortable.

These tools aren’t just for show. They often boost productivity for the admin staff, and for the rest of the team, too. And by replacing messy paper sheets, tangled cords or other clutter with beautiful electronic displays and clean lines, they can make your office a more inviting place.

You don’t need to overwhelm your employees with tech tools for every simple task. The key is to find the tools that make your office simpler and more pleasant with very little effort on your end. Here are a few suggestions:

Conference Room Schedulers

Your office probably has a few meeting rooms. Scheduling their use prevents miscommunications that can have big repercussions. (For example, double booking a few job interviews or client meetings will make a terrible impression on everyone involved).

Conference room scheduling problems happen due to one of two factors. The first is that the demand for the room is so low that no one puts much effort into scheduling it. The second is that the office uses an outdated method for scheduling, such as relying on the admin staff (which creates bottlenecks) or even using an old-school paper clipboard.

All of these problems can be solved by investing in a conference room scheduling system that all employees can access from the convenience of their desks — or from the conference room itself via dedicated digital signs.

These signs, posted outside of conference room doors, clarify for everyone in real time what’s scheduled in the room. They may also display a custom message, the room’s full schedule for the day, and touchscreen options that allow users to book the room on the spot. Some also have big red or green indicators to signify whether the room is currently available for use, which makes it easy for employees to find available rooms at a glance.

Conference room signs are just one way to leverage digital signage in the office. For other ideas, download this bonus resource: 4 New Ways Companies Are Using Digital Office Displays

Some of these room signs prompt meeting attendees to sign into meetings and indicate when meetings start and end. Office managers can then use that data to analyze the efficiency of the office and the use of the meeting rooms. This blog gives a great example: Perhaps one group has a weekly meeting scheduled in the full room for an hour, but the meetings often only take half an hour — or perhaps only a few people show up each week. Administrators can suggest based on that data that the group move to a smaller room or make the weekly reservation 30 minutes instead.

As you can imagine, these digital signs aren’t just effective for scheduling. They make an impression on visitors such as top job candidates or potential clients, many of whom will be going straight to one of these rooms for their interview or meeting.

Modern Breakrooms

Your employees won’t exactly revolt if their breakroom still features a standard coffee pot and vending machine. But a few upgrades can go a long way toward making your company appear both tech savvy and sensitive to employee needs.

First, let’s talk coffee. If your company is willing to invest, there are some cool, technically advanced machines that make custom-ordered brews quickly, and can even alternate from single servings to group servings.

If you want workers to have access to a variety of single-serve drinks, machines like the Mars Drinks’ Flavia Barista can make coffees, teas, lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos with a single push of a button — and use a digital interface for customization. In another example, The Ninja coffee bar can brew several sizes, from a small travel mug to a full carafe, and has a built-in frother and options for hot, cold, and coffee-shop-style drinks.

Take a moment to imagine the ability to offer your office visitors an iced coffee or a latte instead of directing them toward the standard pot (whose contents may or may not be fresh).

Another big tech upgrade to the breakroom can come from an upgrade to the vending machines. These days, some companies are investing in “micromarkets” to transform their breakrooms into something closer to a little bodega or bright convenience store. Micromarkets let companies fill their breakrooms with things like fresh fruit, salads, and wraps in addition to standard sugary drinks and bags of chips.

Instead of locking the food away behind glass until payment is received, these systems rely on a self-service kiosk to let employees pay, either with a credit card or a pre-loaded keytag.

It’s almost impossible for these systems to get broken compared to their traditional vending machine counterparts (no food getting stuck, no dollar bills getting stuck, no running out of change). And many of them come equipped with security cameras to ensure that the self-pay system is used.

Employees often appreciate the ability to see their food up close before they buy it and possibly view nutritional info before they make the purchase. For a few more examples of this in action, check out Canteen’s Smart Market or Aramark’s Vibe Fresh Market.

Charging Stations

Office visitors who need to charge their electronics after their travels to an office are often put in the awkward position of scuttling along the floorboards to find an outlet.

Products such as charging docks, charging tables, charging lockers, and chairs with charging access are now available to help with this problem. You can place these in the reception area or in other common areas for visitors’ convenience.

Charging tables like these have multiple cording options but also the ability to charge devices wirelessly. You can even brand them with your company’s information, if you’d like. Or, you can transform your conference tables, desks or other furniture into charging stations with ChargeSpot.

Another option: Charging lockers allow visitors to safely store their phones and other personal items like their wallet and keys for the duration of their visits.

If your office only gets occasional visitors, you can also consider adding a simpler option, like this bamboo charging station. Simply place it on a table in the reception area and plug it in.

Charging access is just one more detail that makes visitors feel more at ease — and shows that your business understands their tech needs.

Tablet-Based Visitor Check In

Many companies observe the best practice of keeping a record of who is in their office at any given time. They do it for a variety of reasons: to comply with security regulations, to improve emergency evacuation protocols, and to protect their intellectual property, to name a few.

But even in the most casual office environment, lack of attention to the reception area has repercussions. Uninvited visitors wander in and interrupt employees, or are kept waiting and confused in the reception area.

If you’re still using an informal front desk setup or are using a paper log and forms to track visitors’ comings and goings, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to improve productivity and to impress your office visitors with a beautiful, streamlined system.

The Receptionist visitor management software

Modern electronic visitor management systems like The Receptionist let office workers customize the check-in flow and create a custom chain of notifications when a visitor arrives. Then, when visitors come in, they simply use an iPad that takes them through the workflow quickly and easily and then notifies their host. They can even communicate with their host directly from the system.

The Receptionist can also integrate with badge printers and cameras for additional security, all within one system. If you’d like to see how The Receptionist can enhance your front desk experience, click here to start a free 14-day trial.

If you want your company to seem modern and ahead of the curve, you need the office tools to match. #receptionistapp Click To Tweet

It’s the little details like these modern tools that can come together to make the impression you want your company to make. If you want your company to seem modern and ahead of the curve, you need the office tools to match.

Looking for other ways to make an impression? Here are a few other posts to check out:

Ready to leverage the power of digital displays in your office? Here are some options to consider: 4 New Ways Companies Are Using Digital Office Displays

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