Connected devices have become a key part of our working lives and an essential component of modern workplaces. Email, mobile apps and other technologies have streamlined office communications, and latest technology continues to advance connectivity in the workplace.
Connected technologies have the potential to transform internal efficiency and improve office operations. As your office determines the best methods to connect its colleagues and streamline office communications, here are five effective technologies you may want to consider:
More and more companies are distributing networked tablets to their employees, allowing staff to work from anywhere—be it from home, while in transit or in the office. Tablets allow the same on-the-go functionality as smart phones, but also enable employees to easily download and reference important documents. By ensuring that employees have the same functionality and portability, tablets allow for a more connected communication stream. Keep in mind that tablets may not be suitable for some tasks, such as transcribing meetings, typing out long documents or running data-intensive applications.
Apps that are specific to employees are on the rise. Payroll programs, such as Wave, are creating applications that allow users to view pay stubs, manage their banking information and access their tax forms all in one place. Internal company intranet sites are also going mobile, allowing for better inter- and intra- departmental communication and company-wide information distribution.
Facilities management requests were once managed by phone calls, in-person conversations and email.
New request management technology allows facility management teams to acknowledge the request, assign the work to a staff member, track progress, provide updates and generate reports all in one workflow.
These technologies allow a more transparent request management process so that employees are kept in the loop every step of the way.
More and more tools are being designed to specifically enhance internal communications. Typically, these tools promote real-time collaborations and simplify project management by providing chat rooms for small teams. These tools also provide a place to share and store documents, as well as integrations with other workplace apps.
Slack, one of the most popular examples, allows users to create various channels for specific topics, projects or teams.
Slack can integrate with a variety of other software and applications such as Trello, Google Drive and DropBox, which allows it to function as a control center for an employee’s workday. These cloud-based tools have the added bonus of decluttering employees’ inboxes by promoting instant communication for simple questions or requests.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept of connecting everyday objects and appliances to the internet. The IoT examines how regular objects—be they cars, kitchen appliances or bike helmets—can be designed to send and receive data. In the workplace, these types of devices have the potential to improve efficiency and data analysis. The IoT will enable more seamless processes between employees and office technology—imagine being able to send a Slack message to your coffee machine and have a cup of coffee waiting for you by the time you walk down to the break room. IoT technology will also have improved location services and will potentially be able to track where employees are in a building, which conference rooms are free and so on, allowing employees to save time locating their colleagues or securing an empty workspace.
Leveraging technology to streamline communications and simplify daily, routine work is the goal of a modern office. As new technologies become incorporated into office culture, employees will not only be able to streamline their messages to colleagues but also their commands to workplace devices. Connected workplaces are already allowing employees to spend less time managing requests and routine tasks, and more time producing high-quality work.
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