Technological innovations can simplify work, boost productivity, and increase customer engagement when used correctly but drain employee efficiency and business resources when misused or ignored. It can be overwhelming to discover the technology that works for you and complex solutions can seem like more hassle than help.
To make life simpler, we’ll cover:
- How technology can benefit your workplace
- Tech tools for the modern office
- How transportation technology helps employees get to work faster
The Importance of Technology in the Workplace
Technology can be challenging to integrate into the workplace, but the benefits are worth the effort. Most businesses today benefit from social media, web apps, and shared drives and these technologies are likely to continue expanding.
The main benefit of technology is the way it can help you work more productively and efficiently. You can use tools to simplify complex, time-consuming work and automate tasks that are routine and predictable. By using tools that reduce the time spent on low output tasks, you and your employees are free to do the tasks that require your expertise. For example, document templates can be shared through the cloud, reducing duplication of work and minimizing time spent communicating standards. Or, digital libraries can be used to index databases and paper files, making it easier for you to find the records you need.
The use of technologies like chats or video conferencing simplifies communication across time zones and locations. Services exist for video, audio, and written communication and often allow users to employ multiple modes simultaneously. Employees have more flexibility and experience greater productivity when they can communicate effectively from decentralized locations. The use of communication technologies create opportunities for collaboration and globalization that don’t always exist otherwise.
Tech Tools For The Modern Office
With so many tools available, it can be hard to know which ones are right for you. To help narrow the list, here are some that will benefit almost any office.
Hiring tools, like Workable, offer features such as templates for job descriptions and career pages, integrated interview scheduling, built-in assessment and interview tools, and even AI-powered skill searching. Rather than spending hours posting openings to job boards, reviewing applications, or coordinating interview times, you can use these tools to centralize applicant information, filter options based on keywords, and even reward productive referrals.
Once employees are on-board, products like Gusto and Paychex , can be used to automate payroll and benefits functions, provide insights into demographics, and measure employee morale or productivity. These solutions can provide actionable insights into employee behavior and needs and can provide you with the data needed to do your job effectively.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, like AutoPilot or Pipedrive,, are an increasingly popular means of collecting customer information, tracking interactions, and automating communications. CRMs are used to centralize customer contact information in the context of their relationships and interactions with your organization. The transparent documentation of notes for each customer interaction is particularly useful as it reduces the need to track down information from individual salespeople or customer representatives. In a CRM, you can quickly research who individual customers are and even analyze trends in sales or customer drop-off.
One of the most frustrating tasks in an office environment might be handling the coordination of schedules, either of individuals or of resources. Tools such as Calendly or Oncehub allow you to create template schedules and automate meeting invitations. They integrate with applications for video or audio conferencing, automation of tasks, and CRMs to further reduce duplicate work. The use of these products can eliminate the back and forth of deciding a meeting time, send automated reminders to participants, and even allow clients to self-schedule appointments.
Robin, and products like it, ensure that meeting spaces, whether physical or digital, are available when you need them. They offer the ability to filter available spaces by amenity, sort by availability, and provide insights to resource use, helping you make the most of your space and eliminate the frustration of having to relocate mid-meeting.
Augmented Reality and Automation
In workplaces, augmented reality is usually seen in environmental controls or productivity tools. When office spaces use adaptive lighting or temperature controls, like those offered by Comfy, they can more easily be customized employee needs, increasing comfort and boosting productivity. Automated controls can be used to increase system efficiency and reduce costs, but also to do things like light office spaces or open blinds according to a set schedule.
Productivity tools, such as SMART boards can be used in meetings to automatically convert notes or visuals to digital files, and allow integration of media as well as ease of sharing for remote attendees. On an individual level, smart pens can be used to automatically convert written notes to searchable and shareable files.
Voice assistants, like Siri or Google Assistant, and speech recognition tools, like Dragon, are valuable for multitasking or when hands are otherwise unavailable, like your morning commute. These tools can be used for tasks like adding meetings to a schedule, taking dictation, or even querying databases. Voice recognition can be used for identity authentication tasks like signing into mobile devices or gaining access to office spaces.
Transportation Technology - Helping Employees Get to Work Faster
Most offices have integrated at least a few of the above technologies but transportation technology and smart mobility are often overlooked. Transportation to and from work as well as during working hours can take up a significant amount of an employee’s day and energy.
Employers can reduce this drain, increase worker productivity, increase job satisfaction and build a positive work culture by using technology to promote shared transport, like bike-sharing or carpooling. When employees share transit they arrive to work with reduced stress levels, reserving energy for the day ahead and experience more opportunities for networking, which fosters a stronger sense of community and eases collaboration.
Transportation sharing fits a larger picture of work culture by aligning with the employee value of environmental sustainability and can be promoted as a fringe benefit that provides cost savings to employees by reducing the need for private vehicles or public transportation fees. When a potential worker feels that a company is aligned to their needs and concerns, they are more likely to join a team and more likely to stay once hired.
You can implement these programs with minimal headaches through platforms such as RideAmigos, Waze Carpool, or Scoop and offer benefits like rideshare matching or preferential parking for carpoolers. Promoting the use of transportation technology is an easy way to positively impact a wide range of employees at a minimal or negative cost.
Technology plays a role in most aspects of modern life and the office is no exception. We are often at least familiar with if not comfortable with the way in which technology can make our lives less stressful and more productive. This familiarity makes it easier to integrate technological advances into workplace routines. Although the options may seem overwhelming at first, starting with small changes suited to your offices’ needs will open the doors to a more productive and rewarding workplace for you and your employees.