Tech is now a fully embedded element of every office - from the advent of the photocopier, the office environment had been fully changed into an evolving technological arena. In June 1975 Business week published an article titled ‘The Office of the Future’ with the second part of the article titled ‘The paperless office’. In 1975, this may have seemed far fetched - but as computer giants IBM and Xerox dominated an emerging market - their predictions were not so rooted in fantasy. The concept of ‘The Paperless Office’ emerges from the idea of progress toward a fully digitally based office - a notion that would have seemed whimsical in 1975.
But some essence of this idea is what has formed what we now take for granted, the fully functional digital office. Like the predictions of 1975, some ideas may currently seem far fetched - such as the inclusion of AI, VR and AR did just a few years ago. But the tech world marches forward at an unprecedented rate, and we therefore must take note and adopt new tech as to not get left behind. How can we best approach integrating new technologies into the workplace?
Embrace the Digital Workplace
It is easy to have misconceptions of what ‘up-to-date’ actually means, tech is not about box ticking. Tech is about making your business more time efficient and progressing further with technological aid. So, the question is - is your office tech savvy and how can you future-proof your office?
You may have been early to set up networked computers and a digital web chat and so, yes, of course the office is up to date. But, it is not just accepting and utilizing the well known technologies that are sweeping the whole world by storm. It is also worth exploring lesser known startups and small companies that are quietly revolutionizing the tech world. Startups or smaller businesses promoting their technology may be able to tailor their software or hardware to you and create semi-bespoke options based on the flexibility of their product.
Build From the Foundations Upwards
Tech should filter seamlessly both up and down the chains of communications within the workplace. A common mistake amongst offices is administrating tech to members of the workforce who solely occupy managerial roles. Although it is important that tech works for the managers of the office, it is also crucial that new technology is embraced by staff at every level.
Building a solid foundation to work from with new software and hardware is essential to its efficiency in a company. Isolating information to the owner of the account holder can be a problem if that person is out of the office. Tech that is functional at every staff level is a better investment and will work wholeheartedly work for every staff member, leading to improved communications between all tiers of the company
A Collaborative Approach
When researching and testing new tech to integrate into your workplace, it is crucial to openly listen to the individual needs of different team members. Prepare for the challenges accordingly as you may come across some barriers to making a digital workplace. If someone is dragging their heels at using new ways of doing a task, ask them why? Ensure training is in place for staff who may not be so confident with the new tech, and therefore ensure that they are fully confident and trained. If team members feel happy with a new set-up they are more likely to utilize and benefit from it. Work collaboratively with team members at every level to test whether technology works for you and if it is appropriate for your office or business.
Keep it Simple
Steer clear of using tech just for the sake of seeming ‘up-to-date.’ Instead, keep it simple and focus on small changes that create progress in your business. You know what the focuses are of your business and what you need to progress - so find and use tech that will help with those aims.
Use applications and software that ease the paperwork process. Reducing admin will reduce stress and potential mistakes, therefore increasing productivity. Okappy is an application that works with job management and has brought huge benefits to industries such as facilities management. The application reduces admin and therefore room for error. Utilizing an app that simplifies and streamlines communication could be a step in the right direction for your office - to both improve your service and save you time.
Seamless Incorporation of New Tech
This is about subtle incorporation, not disruption in the literal sense of the word. Utilizing new technology should be seamless - it should simply ease a facet of your office. Whether it is communication, administration or job management - a move towards the paperless office should simplify not complicate. Ensure that you are prepared, choose a technology that really works for you and don’t work with complex products just for the sake of it. Use tech to become more efficient, productive and creative.