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Modernize Your Workplace With These 7 Ways to Create a Smart Office


Posted by Insightlink on 01/18/19

A productive modern workplace takes advantage of smart technologies to make workers’ jobs easier and more satisfying. A smart office also utilizes technology to automate daily routines and everyday tasks, so work flows smoothly and employees have more time for creative, constructive thinking. Whether you are setting up your workspace in a new office or have an existing business that’s looking to update to more modern times, consider the following ways to create the perfect smart office.

customer help desk Choose Ergonomic Furniture

Today’s health-conscious workers are fully aware of the dangers of sitting at a desk all day, so consider bringing in convertible desks that go back and forth between standing and sitting, as well as chairs that accommodate different postures and tasks. Studies have shown that standing desks can improve mood and energy levels, reduce back pain, boost productivity and reduce absenteeism, and may even lower workers’ risk of weight gain. And without the distractions of discomfort and pain, employees can connect more fully with their co-workers and the tasks at hand, creating greater engagement and satisfaction on the job.


Upgrade to Smart Devices

A recent report by Microsoft found that engagement — workers’ ability to focus on the task at hand and deliver a better end result more efficiently — increased fourfold in businesses with strong digital cultures. Businesses looking to smooth the path of workers’ daily routines can create a “smart office,” which can be automated like many homes.

Consider installing a hub and adding smart lights, a smart thermostat, virtual reality cameras, and speakers — all voice-controlled. You can allow workers to control their own locally-placed devices or set everything up on a single network and control it with a smartphone. Switching to a smart thermostat gives you greater control over the office temperature and climate and can save you money on utilities.


Take Advantage of Automated Personal Assistants

Digital personal assistants like Siri and Alexa can make it easier to schedule appointments, drop into selected offices for a chat, order lunch for work, access files, speed correspondence, and take part in conference calls. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider adding a personal assistant at each workstation or at least in each team area. The voice user interface (VUI) makes it easier for workers to quickly find available meeting rooms and streamline tasks. As a result, employees have greater freedom to think creatively and constructively, likely resulting in greater engagement and workplace satisfaction.

VUIs also make the workplace more user-friendly for those with weakened motor functions, older employees with diminished sensory abilities, and the visually impaired. Studies have shown that older workers who have a harder time adapting to modern technology prefer VUIs over keyboard interactions, which means this technology makes the workplace more functional for most workers.


Move to Cloud-Based Storage

Storing important information on a physical hard drive or in a filing cabinet is the oldest-school way of doing business, one that’s hardly used anymore. Modern office managers know that upgrading and storing information in the cloud is the new way to file, share and protect information. One of the main benefits of storing information in the cloud is the ability to access phone numbers, client data and customer files from anywhere you have a secure internet connection.

Products like Dropbox and Google Docs are generally free up to a certain storage amount, or you can upgrade to unlimited storage capabilities. QuickBooks and similar programs connect to the cloud to let you store all your financials securely online. Products like Salesforce let you track and personalize customer interactions with your brand’s touchpoints from start to finish. All the information is stored online and can be used to continuously improve customer experience.


Present via Interactive Whiteboards

Collaboration tools help encourage individual participation, especially on team projects. Upgrade your office’s conference room to a smart meeting space with the use of interactive whiteboards. This allows workers — even those teleconferencing far from the office — to add notes, insert drawings, and share data with the click of the mouse. These whiteboards can be taken into any meeting room, and employees can add their thoughts via tablets or computers without getting up from their seats.

Also, when you upgrade your conference rooms, switch out projectors for big-screen televisions and use Chromecast or Apple TV to make it easier for employees, guests, and management to deliver presentations straight from their laptops.


Opt for an Open Office Space

Open closed doors and tear down walls to encourage team collaboration and communication. Part of creating a smart office is ensuring that all employees are interconnected with one another for maximum productivity. Without the divisions imposed by cubicles and offices, an office’s sense of hierarchy is lessened, allowing every employee a greater opportunity to contribute and be heard. Aside from increased communication, an open office floor plan offers greater flexibility in furniture configurations, so you can group teams together no matter how they shift. It also helps build stronger work relationships and can improve employees’ engagement, job satisfaction, and overall mental health.


Organize Teams Online

Make it easier for workers to attend meetings and conferences by organizing events online. With applications like Zoom and Slack, you can schedule meetings, notifying and adding employees or shifting rosters and locations as needed. These apps also make it easy to add remote workers while simultaneously allowing in-office workers to remain within their workspaces for a more comfortable meeting. These apps mimic a lot of the features people love about social media, and the freedom and facility offered in connecting with co-workers regardless of one’s physical location cannot be understated.

Utilizing smart office technology can help turn a constrictive, unproductive workspace into an interactive and exciting environment that alleviates monotony and isolation for employees, creating room for greater collaboration, employee engagement, and job satisfaction. It also can help upgrade the company image into one that says you’re keeping pace with the changing times. By automating processes and taking advantage of tech innovations, you can save both time and money, enhance an inclusive office culture, and revolutionize the way you do business.

This article was submitted by Laura Gayle, BusinessWomanGuide.org.

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About Insightlink:
Insightlink Communications is a leader in full service employee surveys and offers a range of employee survey products and services to fit their client's needs. With over 18 years of experience, Insightlink's reputation has been built on giving organizations the knowledge they need to create effective change using their acclaimed employee research, analytics, benchmarking and survey methodologies. Insightlink's expertise in data collection reporting and analytics takes the pressure off organizations that find data overwhelming and daunting creating reports that are digestible and understandable, simple and easy to understand for organizations of any size and experience level. For more information please contact Lynn Gore at 866-802-8095 ext 705 or visit our website here.

 

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