3 Tech-Driven Trends To Improve Your Office in 2020
Emerging technologies are not only transforming the way we think about our offices but also changing the way people interact with their work. And in 2020, technology is more accessible than ever. It almost seems like there shouldn’t be anything we couldn’t control from a smartphone or a wearable device. So if you work in an office (like most of us do), then there is no reason why you couldn’t be taking advantage of it.
Today, most companies reach out to IT outsourcing services or IT Consultants to define the best way to implement tech-driven features into their daily workflows. However, this article can help you get started on your own. Here are 3 Tech-Driven Trends To Improve Your Office Workplace in 2020.
Creating a Personalized Data-Driven Environment
These days, you can’t have real personalization without access to high-quality data. And if you ask me, everyone working at an office deserves some level of personalization. The best way to do this is by leveraging on two of the most up-and-coming technologies in the current market: the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence.
Based on both, you can implement smart sensor-based monitoring systems that constantly read and record selected parameters (such as temperature, illumination, number of people at the office, humidity, etc). This information can later be used to create a network of smart devices that automatically adapts to the circumstances and preferences of the people at work.
This helps businesses and managers improve efficiencies and overall office performance, resulting in reduced energy usage and a noticeable optimization of how space is used. But most importantly, it prioritizes the wellbeing of employees, making them more comfortable and productive thanks to automatic and personalized environment adjustments.
Artificial Intelligence and IoT devices are already well integrated with our lives, in the guise of mainstream assistants like Siri or Alexa. IoT devices can communicate with each other and enhance the experience of the employees have in daily office routines.
To paint the picture, a study conducted by Ernst & Young found that organizations making use of AI had increased their operational efficiency, and employees were able to make faster, more informed decisions. In short, AI in the workplace will enhance human intelligence, acting as an enabler for productivity and collaboration.
Fueling Up On Cloud Power
Cloud technology has dramatically changed today’s business landscape to the point where it has become a key element of workplace efficiency. In 2020, however, its relevance is less about implementing it and more about embracing its underlying potential. And although moving from legacy systems to a cloud-based infrastructure takes some work, it’s totally worth it.
Here are a few highlights of what cloud technology can do for your office workplace:
As long as you have electrical power and an internet connection, the cloud is always on and available. Through it, employees can access files, tools, and all kinds of data they may need. This not only frees employees from potential constraints of a traditional office environment but it also gives everyone on the team global access to the same real-time information.
Working on the same project through cloud technology makes it easier for your employees to coordinate their efforts and achieve better results regardless of their location. Cloud-based software tools enable multiple people to view and edit files in real-time while leaving a track record of everything behind. And when it comes to third-party interaction, the cloud facilitates sharing documents, limiting the access as necessary depending on the party.
The amount of data that can be stored at the cloud is practically limitless. As a result, any business can scale its use up and down depending on its context and needs. This level of flexibility saves companies from maintaining systems that are unnecessary during inactive times.
By following some basic cybersecurity measures (e.g. strong passwords, zero-trust networks), cloud computing can be the safest way to store data. Data redundancy, security credentials, and access authorizations provide measures that keep information more secure than in any legacy system.
Incorporating Automation into Daily Tasks
For many businesses, automation may sound like a complicated step to take. This might be because they have only seen it in cutting-edge fields like chemical engineering or programming. However, the truth is that you don’t always need the help of IT outsourcing companies to automate simple daily office tasks.
At its core, automation is about programming a system to complete repetitive, easily replicated tasks without the need for human labor. In fact, many SMBs are already using one of the most common forms of automation: email marketing.
Newsletter subscriptions and welcome emails are what we see most often. But we also have follow-up emails, which can be configured to be sent days later to a specific audience (e.g. those who opened the original email). These tools can be used to develop powerful email marketing campaigns with minimal effort.
When it comes to the workplace, automation can actually help people be more productive by freeing them from the most mundane and time-consuming tasks. Ultimately, this allows them to add more value to their work in other more critical areas.
Here’s a quick list of automation examples at the workplace:
Whether we are talking about physical or virtual meetings, scheduling can be somewhat of a juggling act. Software tools with automation capabilities can easily compare the time availability of everyone and recommend the perfect time, even if participants will be joining from different time zones.
Most of the time, hiring is a long and tough process for any business—especially when receiving tons and tons of applications. Luckily, automated hiring software can go through applications at inhuman speeds, searching for specific keywords and quickly identifying the best candidates from thousands of applications.
Every time an employee types its email, office address, phone number, or Skype ID, valuable time is lost. Luckily, automation tools (supported by strong encryption technology, of course) can help you securely and automatically fill in any online form. Even entering payment information is fast, secure, and easy.
This is a very wide topic, but it is worth mentioning. You can automate common help desk support questions (e.g. vacation policies, Wi-Fi passwords) so that employees can immediately access the info they need. On the other hand, they can be used to provide 24/7 customer support coming at you with FAQs. If you want to go a step further, you can also set automated follow-ups to make sure your support teams make a personal connection by phone or email.
I’m sure that in the near future we will begin to see more and more tech-driven workplaces. It’s clear that they offer a much more dynamic, flexible, and efficient environment with customizable solutions. As things continue to reshape, it is any business leader’s duty to guide their people into a technology-focused mindset to continue driving growth.