Tech

Technology in the workplace: can it boost productivity?

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06/09/2018

Whilst we could all point to a piece of tech that greatly boosts our productivity, Workthere research shows it can take on average 42 hours (figure taken from independent an Workthere survey of 1,009 office workers) for an employee to get to grips with their office tech.

It is therefore vital to ensure that any new technology is integrated in the right way to avoid it having the opposite effect and making staff unproductive. The sheer volume of what is currently out there in the market, coupled with a multitude of ways to use devices and programmes means that office tech is used differently by everyone.

It’s not only how to use the tech that could become a barrier; faulty and outdated technology greatly affects the workplace and its inhabitants. Almost half (46%) of respondents to our survey said a business with cheap technology would probably not invest in the wellbeing of its staff. Not only this, not investing in new tech could mean turning off prospective clients with 24% of office workers claiming they would not want to do business with companies that have outdated technology.

So how can you ensure your clients, employees, and potential new business opportunities stay with you? And how can you be sure your office tech is aiding you, not holding you back? We’ve outlined some tips to help you create a productive, tech-friendly work space.

Switch up your set up

The fully integrated tech set up often found within serviced office space, which allows your staff to work flexibly and hot-desk can be extremely beneficial to productivity. An open, flexible workspace promotes collaborative working and helps teams create ideas together.

 

Standing desks at Uncommon, Borough

 

If you’re looking to promote a more collaborative space and encourage hot-desking, you’ll need an office with high-speed internet connection, video call facilities and conference phones – all tech we are familiar with around an office, but how can you go that one step further?

Communicating in the office with other colleagues and business partners in the right way is another big boost for productivity. Getting everyone together through tools such as Google Hangouts and Skype enable us to see each other during conference calls and provide an ideal (and free!) solution for new businesses.

There are increasing opportunities in more experiential approaches to conferencing, and openings for VR technologies to be used for a more personal approach to conference calls. There is nothing more exciting than the prospect of being able to ‘hologram’ yourself into a business meeting, which could be a reality probably sooner than you’d imagine.

An interesting piece of technology for your workplace set-up is the new AI standing-desk, which prompts you when you need to sit down, or stand up, and even reminds you to stay hydrated!

How fast is fast?

Slow internet speed can really hinder productivity and there’s nothing more frustrating than wi-fi that is unstable or inconsistent. With the rise of fibre optic broadband over the last 5 years, wi-fi speeds have really increased and the annoying wait for files to load should be a thing of the past.

Depending on your business size and type, there’s a range of different internet solutions which may be most appropriate, as your business scales in size you may need to increase your bandwidth allocation accordingly. Companies making regular use of cloud computing or internet intensive ecommerce activity will need to buy a higher amount of broadband, and VoIP phones can often put a drain on your download speeds if you don’t have a fast-enough connection.

Let’s talk

Great workplace productivity comes from the ability for colleagues to collaborate and communicate effectively. When the right tools are used to promote communication, staff can work well together from just about anywhere – and still be communicating as if they are sat right next to each other.

Group chats are not just for the world outside of work but are integral to building team relationships. Workplace productivity tools such as Slack, Yammer, Basecamp, Fuze and Skype enable two-person conversations, group chats, file sharing and much more, so you can keep up-to-date with what’s happening wherever you are.

But it’s not just each other that we get to talk to with new office tech. Voice enabled software such as the Amazon Alexa for Business allows for tasks such as dialling in to a conference call, or printing a document to be completed by the sound of your voice alone. Alexa is accessed through the Amazon Echo speakers and can be linked up to calendars throughout the office.

Any skill can be configured into this software including finding the nearest printer, company-wide briefing and even telling you the meanings of terminology specific to your business – handy for those who still aren’t quite to grips with business jargon!

Other tools such as Google Home are not tried and tested in the workplace as yet, but this is a growth area so we expect to see moves towards this in the near future.

If you’re looking for a new space to work, take a look at the huge range of serviced office spaces we have listed and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team – we have a network of experts who are best placed to help you find the ideal space.