Your office is your battleground and its successfulness can never reach its full potential without the use of strategy, as well as latest doctrines. Think about it, there are so many outdated business practices that are putting way too much strain on your employees, thus, diminishing their efficiency and morale. While some people avoid innovations thinking they are expensive, there are also those who recognize that, in most cases, innovation saves money. From reducing your overhead to managing your employees better, here are the top seven office tech trends that you need to consider introducing in 2018.
Keeping records of your meetings is a valuable trend, especially when brainstorming sessions are in question. However, storing them might be a problem, seeing as how audio files, when in high quality, take up a lot of space. On the other hand, by transcribing them, you can keep them in written form, which reduces your space requirements quite a bit. It’s even more efficient to try bringing the number of meetings to a minimum, due to the fact that an average office worker spends about 31 hours every month in various meetings.
Quality tech equipment
There are so many tech hardware solutions that you can utilize in order to improve your company’s productivity and efficiency in the office. It’s crucial to equip your employees with quality equipment. A fast, durable computer is no longer a matter of luxury, but of objective necessity. Low-quality laptops will run slowly and inefficiently, halting most of the work down in the process. For instance, latest Lenovo X1 Yoga laptop has shown great performance in the field. It comes with Intel Core i7-7500U processor and 512GB SSD and 16GB max memory which should fit all of your needs. This machine also has a backlit rise and fall keyboard that adapts to you. This feature can be extremely useful when it comes to creating spreadsheets and writing reports. Do not forget multifunction printers, smaller gadgets like multi-port USB hubs, extra-long charging cables, smart plugs, and so on.
Even though you might have invested in an optimal work environment, not all of your employees will feel motivated to give it their best. In fact, when you get the results of a project, it’s nearly impossible to tell which of your team members actually invested effort and which of them slacked. Sure, you can ask a team leader but they A) have their own favorites within the team and B) can’t be everywhere at once. As you can see, the traditional method of handling this issue is all but perfect.
You can’t really peak into everyone’s monitor, nor should you, seeing as how this displays a lack of trust and raises the tension through the roof. What you need to do is invest in employee monitoring software and keep records of everyone’s performance on the project. Finding the culprits behind poor performance may not be able to help you fix the problem retroactively, yet, it might come in handy in organizing and managing your next project.
Saving office supplies
Employee efficiency doesn’t only measure the amount of work they do but, also the number of office supplies they consume. By reducing the overhead, you automatically raise the efficiency of your company. This is particularly important because an average office worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper every year. Apart from paper, this also requires ink, toner, paper clips and folders, not to mention that it requires storing space, which means that you have to get new boxes, shelves and drawers. By keeping your documents in digital form, you can easily avoid most of this. With cloud service and similar features, this is easier to pull off than ever before.
Another money-saving trend you should try out is video conferencing instead of business travels. Sure, face-to-face meetings are still the optimal form of negotiation, but let’s be honest; can your SMB really afford several business trips every month? In a hyper-connected business world, more and more companies are outsourcing to or collaborating with overseas companies, making these potential trips even more expensive and daunting. Moreover, they are impractical, seeing as how they distract the owner/manager from their core tasks and remove them from the office where they are needed the most.
Collaboration tools are not just for remote workers
The next misconception about the use of digital tools in the office is the idea that collaboration tools are something meant exclusively for remote workers and telecommuters. In reality, this is not the case. Telecommuting is useful, but not just for those who work from home. Imagine if an invaluable member of the team had to leave for a holiday and a situation emerged where their assistance was needed. Aside from this, collaboration tools are quite handy as a way of preserving data and keeping the entire team on track about changes and agendas of projects.
In the previous section, we hinted at the prospect of hiring remote workers, which is something that a lot of companies are doing nowadays. At very least, you can try bringing in a virtual assistant, who is basically just a telecommuter who helps you out with some of the most important administrative tasks related to your company. The massive advantage of hiring a virtual assistant lies in the fact that this trend is available to individuals, startups, SMBs and corporations alike. In other words, it’s available even to those who can’t afford an assistant, even though they desperately need one.
At the very end, those who are running an office in 2018 most likely already use some of the above-listed trends. In fact, they are a part of an average office to such a degree that they are probably no longer considered as cutting-edge by anyone. Nevertheless, you would be surprised at just how many young entrepreneurs still vigorously fight this kind of progress believing that these trends can bring imbalance to their “otherwise perfect office”. On the other hand, progress leaves no stone unturned and if you’re going to have to innovate at one point, sooner is always better than later.