Technology is one of the additions to human life that at first made a terrible impression, inducing the fear that it will depersonalize everything, but which then gradually improved our life and interactions. Similarly, the office environment has also benefited from an immense number of technological upgrades throughout the years, that offered companies a tremendous boost in efficiency and streamlined the workflow. Here are five of the most important such office technologies:
1. The Key Lies in the Cloud
The cloud is probably the most ingenious of all office technologies due to the versatility it proposes and the ease of use it offers. Cloud-based platforms enable users to access files and data by using the internet, rather than their PCs’ hard drives. This offers great flexibility to workers from across the world, allowing them to read, modify and respond to certain information in only a matter of minutes. This of course leads to a leaner workflow, as well as to quicker and improved decisioning. What’s also great about the cloud is that the costs are relatively little, while only requiring a decent internet connection.
2. The Internet of Things Ties Everything Together
With such an overwhelming development of gadgets and technologies, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with one technology that brings them all together - the Internet of Things. This allows the transfer of data between a series of devices and machines, without need for human intervention of any kind. It’s already been some years since more and more offices have equipped themselves with advanced printers that are connected to the internet, through a solid WI-FI connection. Apart from these, take office lighting and heating, which can now be controlled from a smartphone, without having to drop by the office again if you’ve forgotten to turn the controls off. Additionally, you can supervise the server room and the actual office at odd hours through an app on your phone, that is connected to the surveillance cameras in the building.
3. Cybersecurity Keeps It All Safe
As companies are moving more and more data around the internet, especially sensitive customer data, such as personal and credit card information, the need for strong cybersecurity options continues to rise. This means that companies need to invest considerable amounts of money in ensuring their data is kept safe. Apart from this, they also need to organize training programs that educate their employees on how they can work in a way that does not open the door to lurking hackers.
4. Automation Streamlines Workflow
As businesses grow, they notice at one point that it does not pay off anymore to have a person manually enter data into the computer, calculate everything by themselves and keep track of every new bit of information that’s added. This process ultimately took a lot of time and tied up valuable personnel, while not always generating error-free results. So now offices have a myriad of automated softwares that can rid them of these issues. There’s accounting softwares that keep track of complex transactions, HR softwares that centralize all personnel and payroll information, as well as EDI softwares that enable companies to eliminate paper and error from their ordering and invoicing processes. All these save companies tremendous amounts of money and boosts overall productivity and profitability.
5. Dependable Conference Lines Enhance Flexibility
The work market has greatly shifted worldwide, registering now more remote workers than ever. This means that companies had to invest more in the technology that supports this type of work flexibility. One communication channel that is tremendously important for an organization is videoconferencing. The videoconferencing technology has evolved significantly, constantly adding new features in its arsenal, such as improved imagery, better sound and faster and more secure connectivity. There’s nothing that puts a bigger damper on productivity than a connection that keeps breaking or the inability to see and hear everyone in the conference room, including those way in the back.
Office technology keeps evolving and companies need to keep up with any improvements and upgrades. It’s difficult to predict to what degree the office environment will be shaped by technology in fifty years’ time, but we can expect things like electronic whiteboards and multi-factor security, such as keystroke dynamics and retina scans, to be a lot more ubiquitous in the coming years.