Good businesses know that they need to keep one eye on the future if they hope to remain relevant and if they hope to maximise their profits and their success. If you become complacent and stop thinking ahead, then in no time at all your competition will be using better techniques and better systems and will be able to increase their output and overtake you – and the quality of their productions will be greater too.
But that’s not the only reason you should be looking at technology. You should also be keeping your eye on modern technology as a means to improve the experience for your employees – to help them enjoy a faster and more flexible workflow, and to help them avoid potential sources of stress and potential issues.
Here are some of the best ways that technology can be used to really help your staff work better and enjoy their work more as well.
One of the best things that technology can do for your staff is to allow them to work remotely and to work from home or from abroad when it suits them. Of course this can be accomplished thanks to the ubiquity of internet connectivity – which will allow your staff to log onto your network from anywhere in the world, to send and receive e-mails, and even to engage in video conferences as though they were right there in front of you.
To make this work though you may want to invest in a few other elements of an online infrastructure. That means using cloud services to allow remote collaboration and easy access to files, it means investing in the necessary video conferencing software, and it means using online time clocks and other tools to keep track of and in touch with your staff.
This also requires an investment in devices that can easily be used remotely (such as the brilliant Surface Pro 2), and in a general change of attitude to start thinking differently about how your business operates.
Life is hard enough without your staff having to deal with printer jams, with low printer ink, with computers that don’t load up, with internet connections that go down… you get the picture. If you invest in better technology, then this will result in a better and smoother workflow for your staff where less goes wrong and where they less often have to stop to wait for something to load or for IT support to arrive.
This also means making sure to invest in the infrastructure in other ways too – by buying enough supplies like ink cartridges and by making sure to get regular maintenance as well.
One of the big changes that we’ve seen in computing over the last several years is the increasingly widespread use of touchscreen interfaces. The popularity of these comes mostly from the fact that they offer a much more natural and intuitive form of input, which allows people to literally reach out and touch the screen to interact – just as they would in real life.
This is a huge bonus for your staff, particularly if it lets them take a tablet PC over to a sofa somewhere, rest it on their lap, and swipe through e-mails and news sites.
As we move forward we are going to start seeing more of these more intuitive forms of input – such as the motion control that’s being championed by the Leap Motion right now (and is already available as a built-in feature on several laptops). Look into these technologies, because you may just find they offer a more natural way for your staff to get their work done and a more comfortable way too. Note as well though that this comes partly down to software – if you do have any in-house software then ensure it has an intuitive and natural UI that will be pleasant for your staff to use.