Adaptability has always been key to staying competitive in the market, according to Martin Reeves and Mike Deimler of the Harvard Business Review. Technology has introduced more changes to the workplace in the last 10 years than it did for almost a generation. Nowadays, companies have access to great innovations to help manage time and costs. Used alone or in combination with one another, these innovations benefit a business in ways that can hugely transform profits and productivity.
Collaboration is the name of the game when talking about the impact of the digital cloud on the workplace. This tool has played a huge role in automating office processes by allowing workers to edit, save, and upload files in real-time. For example, requests from management can be issued over messaging systems built into the cloud software, with changes made on the fly; multiple personnel can edit a document simultaneously instead of having to go back and forth between their workstations or via e-mail. Management can also keep an eye on how work is progressing without having to stand over anyone’s desk. It’s a lifesaver when juggling more than one employee with a flexible work schedule, as they can access the resources they need at their convenience. Any questions, concerns, or issues they have can easily be communicated and resolved at different times of the day. This technology also eliminates the need for expensive hardware-based data storage and protection by allowing a third party to shoulder the costs.
Few things are more costly to an organization than data loss. Countless hours and dollars are often wasted in trying to re-create records of client information, marketing/sales analytics, financial documents, and any number of other important office materials. Cloud storage can provide a quick and easy solution to your data protection woes, but if you have privacy concerns or want to be able to access it, you’ll need to acquire some back-up software. This is according to Fergus O’Sullivan’s Top 10 Major Risks Associated With Cloud Storage in 2022. It can perform several tasks cloud storage can’t, including scheduled back-ups and encryption.
Online Voice and Video Calls
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)-based talk applications are replacing traditional methods of communication when it comes to business conferences and client meetings. Over-the-phone communications can be rendered somewhat cold and impersonal by the loss of body language and a human face to interact with. Videoconferencing allows you to regain some of the lost subtleties of conversation without having to waste precious time commuting away from the office or having to arrange business meetings on your off-time. It also allows you to engage more personally with clients that are otherwise too far away to meet in-person. Videoconferencing can also be a huge boon to any organization that has many employees working on a flexible schedule or from home. Workers can agree on a convenient time for everyone and involve them in discussion without needing to be in the same room.
Not all jobs are created equal and trying to group them all under the same work structure is, too often, an exercise in futility and wasted office space. Many roles can be performed effectively outside of the traditional office environment if employees are given remote access to company computers and files. This is especially true for some technical, sales, and IT positions. Citrix Systems describes remote access as a great tool for providing technical support to clients, as it is infinitely easier to take remote control of a user’s computer and fix their issue personally than it is to try and coach them through the steps. While it’s not necessarily advisable, with this technology, a business could theoretically hire an entire support team without having to allocate a single desk to the endeavor. IT employees with flexible hours could also use this technology to ease their early exit from the office, ensuring that they’re still available to deal with emergencies remotely.
There’s been plenty of bad press regarding social media use in the workplace, but with the right social media policies in place, it can be a great morale-booster for many businesses. Talent Culture’s Chris Arringdale explains how employees care about more than just how much money they make; corporate culture is important, and people want to establish a meaningful rapport with their co-workers. Company social media platforms and instant messaging can help foster deeper employee relationships, which is always a plus when it comes to retaining exemplary workers and building an awesome team.
As technologies go, this one is still in its early stages. Cost-cutting benefits from this technology are leading to quick adoption by many design-based businesses. While employees mostly send out models drawn on paper to other departments or companies to create a physical prototype, with 3D printing, prototypes can be created and tested the same day by one or two individuals only.
Often keeping track of clients is as difficult a job as ganing new business. CRM (customer relationship management) systems make the job easier by tracking and recording all the information about new and existing clients. Many modern CRM solutions also provide detailed analytics and automate everyday aspects of managing sales, freeing up time to handle other areas of the business. A great CRM system doesn’t need to be expensive. Several web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) systems are available at an affordable rate, even for small businesses.
Technology is always evolving, sometimes at a pace that can be difficult to keep up with. Luckily, these days, it is designed primarily with the consumer in mind, and it’s more accessible than it has ever been. With access to all these great tools, business owners can save money, reserve time for less mundane priorities, and rest more easily, knowing that their data is secure. If used to their fullest potential, they can do more than just save money; they can make work easier and more collaborative, increasing engagement and overall productivity.
L. Wang | Contributing Writer