As we all know, technology allows businesses to expand beyond the office across borders and time zones. It helps us all work more efficiently by streamlining tasks that could otherwise fall through the cracks. Embracing modern office technology can impact how a product is delivered, how services are managed, or even how your business is structured. Below are the top four reasons your company needs to invest in tech in 2015.
In addition to enabling truly collaborative work, online communication often provides a tangible transcript of conversations. Whether through email threads or team management software, having a trail of documented questions, responses, and instructions makes it easier for employees to follow up on tasks and fully meet their responsibilities.
And if there’s ever a misunderstanding, employees can refer back to emails and managers can evaluate what went wrong in the communication process, so that the team can work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
In addition to providing an easy way to evaluate communication errors, technology also gives employees something to refer to when they need to recall tasks and other important details. For example, if a manager asks an employee to do three tasks in a meeting, that employee may forget a detail or two. But if the manager emails those tasks to the same employee, it becomes much easier for that person to complete the tasks, making sure that nothing is forgotten.
Beyond emails, new cohesive project management programs allow team members to contribute their thoughts in discussion threads, upload large files to accompany each comment, and follow a discussion in real-time. Instant messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing, and other technologies can also streamline meetings and make it easier for team members to share their work.
Making the simple upgrade to video conferencing, for example, has far-reaching ramifications. According to a Forbes article, How Technology has Changed Workplace Communication, Rick Puskar, the SVP of Customer Experience& Services at Unify, has said that “by leveraging video in a collaborative work environment, I took what was normally a 90 minute call down to 60. I could see where everyone was. They paid attention like nobody’s business.”
Since human capital is so vital to a company, and it takes a lot of time and money to replace an employee, it’s important to make sure you get the right person in the right position, the first time. Strategic use of newer technologies can help improve the process of finding, screening, and hiring the best people for the job. Employers can use social media, freelancer websites, and professional databases to find and recruit top candidates.
It can also help make sure that the candidates you’ve found are the best fit for the job. “Technology like personality assessments and screening tools allow businesses to determine whether a potential candidate is an appropriate fit for the organization,” according to Sherrie Scott in her Houston Chronicle article “Importance of Technology in the Workplace.”
We all know that technology broadens opportunities far beyond the workplace, making it much easier for businesses to operate across borders, time zones, and physical barriers. Is your company maximizing the reach technology can offer it? Today, employees can come from virtually anywhere around the world, as long as they can connect to the Internet. Projects can be managed by different people in far-flung countries, as long as you use the right technology to organize the chaos. Technology also enables businesses of any size to work with clients from anywhere in the world, creating a truly global market for your product or service.
According to the Pew Research Center report Technology’s Impact on Workers, using email and the Internet as communication tools may actually increase the time employees spend working, since they can receive email at any time, from anywhere they can connect to the Internet.
The work-from-home model is becoming increasingly common, and technology makes it possible for employees to work from virtual offices and communicate with clients from around the world. Flexible schedules improve employee satisfaction and retention, and can even increase productivity!
Is it time for your company to rethink its use of technology? Make 2015 the year you streamline your processes and expand your reach, to truly take advantage of all of the benefits new technologies offer.