What are the best technologies to incorporate when updating your workplace?
In this guide, we’ll highlight tools that will make a major impact in your office. We won’t just cover the best tools to use but we will also cover the most affordable ones. The following technologies won’t break the bank but they will dramatically boost your team’s efficiency.
If you’re searching for ideas on how to finally modernize your office, you’re going to find some great ideas below. Let’s get started.
Why Upgrade Your In-Office Technology?
You may be thinking, “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” So, before we delve into all of the technology tools that will dramatically improve your workplace, let’s discuss why you should even consider upgrading in the first place.
Here’s why you should update your workplace technology:
Save Money For Your Organization
Upgrading your office technology will save money. Sure, you’ll need to make an initial investment in order to purchase new technology for your office space. However, the amount that you will save by implementing new technology makes the purchase worth it. Most technologies pay for themselves within one year of use, some even sooner than that.
Consider how many low-level, repetitive tasks you and your team perform on a daily basis. Many of those tasks can be offloaded to software that can do it for you in the background and automatically. Simply put, you can get more bang for your buck by ensuring that your employees aren’t weighed down by doing tasks that don’t generate money for your organization.
Increase The Efficiency Of Your Team
This brings us to our next point: Because your team is aided by technology and they no longer have to do every single task, they will become more efficient and intentional in their day-to-day work roles. The time that you free up by offloading these tasks can be reinvested into higher-level activities.
Become More Productive As A Team
Not only will your team members be more productive but incorporating newer technology in your office will make your overall processes more efficient. This of course will lead to greater productivity. If you’re able to use software to complete a task in five minutes what would have normally taken you an hour otherwise, you will be able to cover a lot more ground in a shorter amount of time.
Gain The Trust Of Your Clients
Clients expect the organizations that they do business with to evolve with the times. If your organization is still relying on antiquated tools, it could damage the trust that you’ve built with your clients. Technology often equals convenience. If a client has to call in during office hours when they could have simply visited a website or physically sign in on a paper log book when they could have done contactless check-in instead, the client will start to question how efficient your organization is as a whole.
Clients prefer to do business with organizations that are innovative and concerned about the client’s overall convenience and experience. Incorporating updated technology will prove that you are concerned about your client’s experience.
Use Data To Improve Your Processes
Technology these days amasses a ton of data and keeps excellent records. You can use technology to identify trends and discover opportunities. Use data to accurately predict future needs and determine if you’re consistently meeting or missing your goals.
Avoid Losing Clients
Many clients are loyal and will stick with you through thick and thin. However, if another organization makes it easier for a client to interact, engage, or receive necessary services, they’ll eventually leave because they feel inconvenienced. This is especially true if that organization offers comparable prices.
Avoid Losing Employees
Your clients aren’t the only ones who may be lured away. Your employees are also at risk. In fact, they may be at greater risk of leaving you if you don’t soon adopt newer technology that can make their work easier.
Consider this if you’re still using the same systems and processes from 10 years ago: Your employees may be doing a ton of extra work to get those systems to function in an acceptable way. Employees often grow tired of cobbling together outdated tech tools. The pressure of this inefficiency can weigh on your employees and make them yearn for employment at a different organization that values innovation and welcomes newer technology.
Implementing the latest and greatest technology can also raise your profile with prospective employees. You can attract better talent by incorporating tools into your daily work processes that make your employees’ lives easier.
Improve Your Data Security
Not leaning into technology could seriously affect your ability to secure your files. If your software is out of date, your data could be a prime target for cybercriminals. It’s important to not only update your systems regularly but to also research what’s available.
Remaining loyal to a software company that doesn’t update regularly can cause your processes to become just as outdated. And if you’re not using technology to secure your files, you can set yourself up for even greater problems. Storing your data on-premises can make you vulnerable to theft as well as fire, flood, or other catastrophes.
Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Workplace Technology
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why it’s time to modernize your workplace with the latest technology. Now let’s explore which technology you should start off with.
1. Tools to Manage Your Visitors
One of the easiest and most affordable technology tools you can incorporate into your workplace is a visitor management system.
A visitor management system is software that allows you to welcome, identify, and track everyone who enters and exits your office space. By implementing a visitor management system, you remain in control at all times. You can ensure that you are visitors have a pleasant and successful experience. You can also ensure that repeat visitors have a consistently positive experience, which will impact their impression of your organization.
Although you can use it solo, a visitor management system works great with a human receptionist, too. Not sure how a visitor management system works? Here’s how you can use Tthe Receptionist for iPad:
Our system can be used as a kiosk in your reception area. When your visitors come into the lobby, they are created by our modern check-in tool. The visitor can then interact directly with the kiosk or proceed to check in contact-free by scanning the QR code from the kiosk.
Upon check-in, our system will automatically notify the host that there is a visitor waiting. The host can then send a message directly to the visitor or make their way down to greet the visitor and physically escort them to their destination. Meanwhile, as the visitor waits, our system can perform other tasks, such as issuing a photo ID or asking the visitor to sign documents.
Learn more about our visitor management system, The Receptionist for iPad, by clicking here.
2. Tools to Entertain and Educate Your Visitors
Speaking of visitor management, let’s discuss how to make their waiting time a valuable experience.
Most waiting rooms have televisions as a way to keep visitors occupied while they wait. Instead of playing the cable news or the home renovation network, consider turning on your own organization’s network instead. You can use televisions to advertise your services, introduce yourself, or educate your visitors on commonly asked questions.
If you’re worried that you may be clobbering your visitors with non-stop content about your organization, don’t be. If you use digital signage software, you can create your own advertisements to run between other entertainment. This way, you don’t risk the visitor from disengaging because the television is showing nonstop advertisements for your organization. Instead, you can mix a little fun with a little business to inform and delight.
3. Tools to Make Your Workplace Smart
There are many affordable technologies you can use to convert your office into a smart workplace. Many of the same tools you’d use to convert your house into a smart home come as a professional version. Consider implementing the following into your workspace:
Install motion-based lighting in your offices and restrooms. Save energy by automatically turning off lights after people leave a space.
By the way, lighting doesn’t just include artificial light. You can use technology to control the amount of natural light you let into your space. For example, smart blinds can automatically open or close based on the sunrise/sunset schedule. Automating blind opening and closing can ensure that the workplace remains pleasant for everyone, especially those who sit by windows.
Install a smart thermostat. Control your office’s heating and cooling using a program. Alternatively, you can set a schedule that will save energy when fewer people are in the office. Some thermostats even include remote sensors that will automatically detect temperature fluctuations based on occupancy and adjust accordingly. Thermostats can be configured to remain at a comfortable temperature automatically.
When upgrading the technology in your workplace, remember that light and atmospheric sensors are easy additions. These sensors can be programmed to automatically adjust your workplace based on various factors, such as time of day, the season of the year, and how many people are currently occupying the space.
4. Tools to Handle Deliveries to Your Office
Every office has deliveries, whether it’s a pizza delivery or the daily mail. For the sake of security, you must be in control of who walks in and around your office space. The good news is that the same check-in kiosk used to manage your visitors can also be used to manage your deliveries.
The Receptionist for iPad is equipped to check in a variety of visitors, including vendors, hiring candidates, contractors, temporary employees, and delivery personnel. Just like with any other visitor, a delivery person can check in on the kiosk and receive further instructions via a message that’s displayed automatically on the kiosk. Implementing a virtual receptionist for deliveries will free up your human receptionist, if you have one, to perform higher-level tasks.
5. Tools to Help You Move Away From Paper
Paper is a relic of yesteryear. If you have paper log books, get rid of them. Use a document creation and document management system instead. Paper is rapidly becoming irrelevant in this digital age where almost everything can be viewed and handled on mobile devices.
You don’t need to use paper in your office because of any and all of the following:
It’s bad for the environment. When you buy paper, you’re participating in the destruction of woodlands. And, if you don’t recycle, you’re also contributing to the growing problem of landfills.
It’s a waste of money. Why buy paper when you can get superior results from using software, instead?
It’s inefficient for record keeping. If a document only exists on a printed record and not on a computer, what happens when that document gets lost or is thrown away by accident? If you’re keeping a digital record anyway, it’s redundant to have it on paper.
It’s unsafe for record keeping. A document management system keeps your data safe in the cloud and ensures that your data is safe from fire, floods, and natural disasters. You can also control access to the documents so that only those with the right permissions have access.
6. Tools to Engage Your Employees
hybrid workplace has the potential to make the workplace feel more disconnected than ever. This applies to both those employees who make it into the office regularly and those who don’t. To ensure that your employees always feel connected with what’s happening in your organization, use an employee engagement app. This type of app can inform all of your employees about office news as it’s happening.
News can include special announcements, invitations to team or company-wide meetings, or even a look at what’s for lunch in your cafeteria. Employees can use the app to reserve desks or meeting spaces. They can also receive push notifications for time-sensitive events. Another great way to use an employee engagement app is for scheduling purposes. Your employees can request time off or check out the upcoming week’s schedule.
You can use this app to keep your employees in the know even when they’re not physically there.
You can also use employee engagement apps to gather feedback from your employees. Conduct surveys, ask poll questions, and encourage employees to interact with each other and with their managers via chat.
Your employee engagement app can also be used to recognize employees. Some apps enable employees to reward fellow employees with points for a job well down. These points can then be accumulated and submitted for rewards, such as company swag, time off, or a gift card to a local restaurant.
7. Tools to Make Hybrid Work More Convenient Employees
If you’ve adopted a hybrid workplace in your organization, it is also likely that you’ve done away with a dedicated permanent desk for your office workers.
Hot desking or taking reservations for desks and office space is a great way to manage the needs of the modern office, but what do you do when your employees want to leave some of their belongings at work? It can be inconvenient for your employees to lug their stuff from home to the office and then back again. Some employees, even though they work under the hybrid model, may come into the office several times a week. This can get old quickly.
The answer is to incorporate smart lockers in your workspace. With smart lockers, your employees can keep their work stuff on site, so it’s always available when they need it.
While traditional lockers can work similarly, they also have their own set of issues. Keys get lost. Locks can be broken. And they’re simply an inelegant solution in the 21st century.
However, smart lockers offer a ton of benefits that traditional lockers cannot. Smart lockers can provide data analytics. You can identify who’s using what locker, and how often, and even keep a digital log of what items are kept in the locker. Smart lockers may include alarms and can be programmed to automatically message a contact if the locker is opened. They’re easy to use and can be controlled remotely by an authorized individual, in case a user forgot their password and needs to regain access.
Adding or upgrading your workplace technology will improve both your visitor and your employee experiences. It will ensure that your workplace is efficient and your employees have the resources they need to do their job responsibly.
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