How to Prepare Your Office for an Influx of Technology
Adding technology to a workplace is both a cultural and technical challenge. New tech might help improve the office experience or push the business forward but success depends on adoption—technology isn’t useful if teams opt not to use it or struggle to integrate it. Managers looking to implement new technology will need to take a committed and strategic approach in order to obtain buy-in across teams. Communication is key when it comes to preparing your office for new processes and tools—and that doesn’t end once a specific technology is chosen.
Solicit input proactively
Gathering input from the future users of a new piece of technology is crucial for a smooth transition. Different departments and teams require tools, processes and tech that are shaped for their specific needs, and gathering feedback from these groups ensures that these needs are accounted for. Many companies offer demos, and including your employees in these trials will allow them to have a say in the technology they use daily. This also signals to teams that their opinions are valued. Managers should consider using tools like surveys, anonymous suggestion boxes or request systems to gather feedback prior to investing in a specific technology.
Understand team workflows
Technology and work processes go hand-in-hand—and both must be considered to ensure teams are truly benefiting from a change. Teams that are forced to stray from effective routines will lose time and confidence in management’s ability to make strategic process improvements. Getting this right comes back to the necessity of gathering valuable input from teams. Individual and team working styles and processes should be considered far in advance when choosing new technology for the office.
Express direct benefits
New technology investments are often introduced in terms of their overarching benefits to the business. New tools can help improve productivity, efficiency and organization—but many of these benefits are not felt on a day-to-day basis by the staff that use these tools. That’s why it’s important to take a different approach when introducing new tools or technologies to your staff; by expressing the direct impact they will have on each employee.
Communicating individual- or team-specific benefits helps staff understand the tangible impact the technology will have on their work.
This can go a long way in helping employees deal with the frustration of adapting to new workflows, especially if the technology is complex or requires new processes to be implemented.
Opt for usability
Products that are intuitively usable will be more easily accepted into the workplace. This is especially the case when teams have differing levels of technical skills. Simple user interfaces, strong documentation and speedy performance all help create a better user experience for teams, regardless of their department or skill level. To ensure the technology is being used to the best of its ability, take advantage of customer support systems for new products.
Implementing any type of change in the workplace can be challenging at first. Staff may have to take the time to learn a new tool or migrate their work from older systems. This upfront effort can cause teams to give up on a technology altogether or underutilize it. Managers should follow up consistently to make sure teams are using new equipment or software. This provides an opportunity to gather useful information regarding a specific technology’s impact in the workplace.
Successfully incorporating new technology in the workplace centers around strong communication and a deep understanding of existing work processes. Managers who can consider their individual employees’ needs will create less friction, increase productivity and ultimately improve their company’s bottom line.
Are you planning on introducing new tools and technologies into your office? Learn about specific tools that can help simplify your company’s internal communication—making it easier to gather the important information you need.
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