Trying to run a business without technology in 2017 is a bit like trying to run a farm without any animals – it simply doesn’t work. Even if you and your employees are dead set against technology (and let’s face it, some of us just are a little bit set in our ways), you will need to be prepared to change your ways and embrace the modern world if you want to have any chance of success. Of course, changing the mind of a tech-skeptic isn’t always easy, and technology isn’t something you can become acquainted with easily overnight. This is where the younger generation tends to have the upper hand – after all, if you grow up with something, it just starts to become a part of your everyday life. For most people, though, technology is something that has to be learned and practiced, especially in a workplace environment. So, why exactly SHOULD you put time and energy into introducing various forms of tech to your team? Well, mainly because the benefits hugely outweigh the time and money spent integrating said tech into the workplace. There really isn’t much that technology cannot do these days. It can increase productivity, minimize time-wasting and all in all, make your office a much more efficient place. But knowing what technology to spend your company money on can be a little complex. After all, there is so much on the market these days to choose from. With that in mind, take a look at these top picks for workplace technology that can help to focus your employees and get better results for your business as a whole.
File and drive sharing
A successful workplace is one that allows its team members to seamlessly integrate with one another so that everyone’s work is out in the open. So many hours have been lost in workplaces across the world to people trying to find a specific file in a messy shared folder or encountering problems with erased data on faulty hard drives. Thanks to the beauty of the cloud and online file sharing your employees can store all their work documents in one places, and you can control who has access to view and edit these files. These apps also let you see who is working on what file at any given time, so you can keep track of everyone’s various projects (something very valuable for a manager). Another benefit of Cloud sharing is that it enables employees to work remotely. Of course, the majority of work should be completed within office hours, and you may be reluctant to enforce too much ‘out of hours’ work upon your employees for fear of pushing them too hard. However, there may be some occasions where certain members of your team have to work from home or work on the move (such as en route to a meeting) and on these occasions being able to access their files from any device can be incredibly useful.
General workplace efficiency
Take an honest look around your workplace and note down what technology you currently have in place. Are you still sporting computer systems from the late 90s, and have you given your employees internal phones but not anything they can use outside of the office? Being up to date with the latest tech is crucial for both workplace and employee development, and you could find that your business falls behind if you don’t get on board. When it comes to your internal systems, you should look for something that is cost effective yet doesn’t lack all the necessary features your employees need. For example, you will need computers with plenty of storage available, and ones that are guaranteed to work quickly even with a lot of documents and programs open on them. Whether you go for Macs or PCs is completely up to you, although you may need to give your employees time to adjust if they are working on a system they are not necessarily used to. Workplace cell phones are also another area you could consider looking into for your staff,and you can find discounts on a whole hoard of technology on sites such as DontPayFull.com. Landline phones are all well and good, but you may find that you need to contact your staff on the go from time to time as well. All this might come as a bit of a culture shock to some of your team, especially if they don’t tend to use a great deal of technology in their personal lives. But encourage them as best you can and offer help when needed – they will soon start to wonder how they ever worked without it.
Instant feedback and employee monitoring
If employee wellbeing isn’t on your list of priorities, it definitely should be. How happy your employees are at work can have a direct correlation to how well they perform in their jobs, so it should ultimately be something you are thinking about. However, as anyone who runs a business will know, finding the time to sit down for regular one to one chats with your staff can often be difficult. You may spend much of your time out of the office, or even overseas, therefore unable to check in with everyone as frequently as you would like to. Therefore, installing performance review technology in your business can be very beneficial to both you and your team. Of course, pretty much every company sets up employee review dates, but if your team are able to document their progress and air any issues they have in real time, you will find that you get much quicker results. Consider setting up a system that allows you to engage with any queries or points your employees have to make. If your team feel as though you are fully engaged with them, they will value you more highly as a boss. It can often be easy for employees to feel lost in the corporate machine, but if you value their ideas and feelings, there is no doubt that you will spur on a better performance from them.