Back in the old days, working in an office was a very analog way of doing business. Even with technology like computers, printers, faxes, and copiers to make your life easier, there were still a ton of low value tasks done manually and took up a ton of time. And let’s be honest, who really has time for that anymore? Or the budget to hire an army of admins?
Fortunately, as the world becomes more high-tech, office spaces are upgrading and adapting at a commensurate rate. Whereas before you were held back by many physical processes, now you can streamline your productivity in ways that you may never have imagined.
Today we’re going to look at the state of the digital office today as it exists currently. We’re talking about how technology has merged with traditional workplaces to make everyone, from the receptionist to the CEO, more engaged and more productive.
Document Management and Archiving
In the old days, managing all of your old paperwork meant that you had to print reams of data and store them in filing cabinets. All of those processes took valuable time away from your work, and the storage alone was both inefficient and costly.
Not to mention, after all of that organizing and sorting, can you even find the document when you need it?
Well, fortunately, the days of scurrying through filing cabinets for hours are over! Technology like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and cloud-based storage make file management a snap. Not only can you scan physical documents and access them from any portal (i.e., computer or tablet), but you can remove them from circulation after they’re scanned.
Simply put, say goodbye to filing cabinets, printing and time wasted looking up archived paperwork for hours!
Mobility within the Workplace
Even though your office is the central hub for all of your employees, that doesn’t mean that they have to sit at a desk all day. With the internet permeating our everyday lives, all it takes is a wifi-enabled device, and your workers can get almost anything done from wherever they are.
Having mobility within your workplace is vital to productivity in the digital office. With wifi and a portable device, employees can utilize the amazing benefits of having a modern corporate office. They can work from a quiet area if needing to focus on tasks or head over to a collaboration area where they can team up with colleagues and work together. All in all, mobility helps tasks get done quicker and also boosts employee morale! That’s a win-win if you ask us! For more ideas on inspiring employees check out our article on the modern office design trends.
Company-Owned vs. Personal Devices
One thing that everyone has these days is a smartphone. These high-tech machines allow us to access a wealth of information at a moment’s notice, and allows us to keep up with work without being chained to a desk.
As a business, you can either spend time and money buying and implementing proprietary devices, or you can utilize those that your employees already have. With an abundance of productivity apps, it’s never been easier to let your staff use personal devices for work. The benefits include:
- Less time with setup and learning how to use it
- Better troubleshooting and problem-solving
- Cheaper startup costs
- Always available, regardless of office hours
So, the question then becomes: how do you keep your company’s information secure on your employee’s personal devices? The solution is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs protect your company’s network from hackers and viruses and make sure that every dealing is kept private and confidential. And as a bonus perk- they’re relatively easy to set up and require very minimal maintenance to keep in shape.
Reception and Time Management
Administrivia is the bane of every office and even when you have a great admin they do so much at one time that they can’t just be at the front desk. With mobile technology like Greetly, office automation can replace the entire manual process, allowing you to redeploy your human capital in a more productive manner.
Greetly is a fully integrated mobile solution that allows visitors to check themselves in, sign documents (such as NDAs), and notify staff members of their arrival. Greetly can send voice calls, text messages, emails and Slack notifications -- simultaneously.
Rather than using a person to handle all of this, you can customize it and streamline these processes with the app. Which allows time for your team member to do more important tasks. With apps like this, you can watch your productivity increase in real time.
Are you sick of hosting meetings all the time? Wouldn’t it be faster and more comfortable if everyone could get together digitally instead of coming to a room for a couple of hours? Not only will it enable you to get more people involved (including those who aren’t on site), but it will allow employees to break away to get other work done without disrupting the rest of the meeting.
Even something as simple as Google docs makes it easier to collaborate on projects than ever before. Since everyone can access information through the cloud, you can take notes, make adjustments, and even talk to each other without ever having to set foot in a conference room.
From working on documents to building a website, collaboration tools are one of the most versatile and reliable methods of increasing productivity in a digital office. Now, everyone can create input without having to spend time meeting face to face.
Gone are the days when you had to be at your desk to get anything done. Whether you’re out sick, out to lunch, or just out of the office, remote access programs like TeamViewer make it easy to access your information at any time.
Even if you don’t use the cloud, these applications and programs are vital to your company’s success. Troubleshooting problems is much faster and more efficient when you can allow your IT team to connect to the computer remotely and diagnose (and fix) whatever issue is plaguing it at any given time.
Being a fast typer is quickly becoming an obsolete skill. Although the ability to type a certain number of words per minute is still valuable, many speech recognition programs are coming out that make it easier and faster to create text.
When these applications first appeared, they would usually result in a garbled mess. However, we’ve come a long way from there, and now many programs can recognize and translate all kinds of words without any mistakes.
Although some correspondence and materials require a bit more finesse than the spoken word, many communication needs can be met and handled with this kind of software. Dictating a memo, an email, or just a quick text is much more efficient with speech-to-text apps. Best of all, most operating systems come with them pre-installed, so you don’t have to buy anything.
As you can see, the digital office of today is quickly becoming a powerhouse of production and efficiency. On average, the workers in modern society are about twice as valuable as they were a few decades ago, and this trend is only going to get better as technology progresses.
With new apps and software coming out on an almost daily basis, many traditional operations in the office are being replaced by more modern, faster alternatives. Whether it’s accessing data, sending information to colleagues, or engaging with customers, these changes are making the world more connected, and the digital office more proactive.
Overall, we’re excited to see what the future brings. Since we’ve seen so many changes take place over the last couple of decades, it’s fun to imagine what the next 20 or 30 years will yield. Soon, we could be looking at an office that is so productive and lean that it only takes a handful of workers to produce the same output as an entire floor of staff.
What do you think the future will hold? Are you looking forward to it or dreading it? How do you think the digital office will evolve?