How Modern Technology Can Improve the Workplace
Running your own business takes a lot of hard work and effort. Any business owner will agree and appreciate that fact, but a big part of making your business a success is to be open to the latest ideas and innovations in technology.
It can take a good while to establish an efficient and productive workplace with a lot of testing, trial and error along the way to find what works best for you. However, if you want to stay on top and run your business to maximum efficiency than you cannot risk becoming complacent about your work processes and procedures.
How is technology improving the workplace?
There has been a technological explosion over recent years that has seen the rapid adoption of new technology and computer apps and tools that have provided great advancements in the workplace. This has meant that a lot of brand new startups have jumped in with a completely different workplace design that looks nothing like how a traditional business was structured, even as little as five years ago.
There is no denying that the workplace has been gradually evolving over the years with small improvements and updates, but throughout many decades the humble office has pretty much stuck to the same tried and tested structure that existed 150 years ago, or even longer.
New start-up businesses are finding new ways of working that not only help to improve productivity in the workplace, but also enable entrepreneurs to start their new ventures as a lean business operating on a minimal budget.
This involves creating the right workplace environment to attract and retain their key staff members that will act as the foundation nuts and bolts of their business. Many new business enterprises are started these days on a very small scale with just a handful of key staff that are essential to the company. Modern technology has enabled more entrepreneurs to launch their successful business ideas without needing huge financial backing or business loans for large-scale office and workspace premises to work out of, or the need to hire as many employees as would have been needed on the ground as say 15 or 20 years ago.
Modern technology has now been providing new business owners with the right tools for productivity, effectiveness and efficiency at the fraction of the cost of having to pay in-house staff to do certain essential everyday tasks.
Flexibility to grow and expand or scale down as needed
A lot of business owners can face fluctuations in business revenue throughout the year. This is quite commonly expected for seasonal businesses and for those who’s manufacturing output depends on the consistency of incoming orders. Navigating the ebbs and flows of a variable cash-flow and managing it well is one of the key elements to running a successful long-lasting business.
The flexibility that modern technology offers a business owner means that they can scale up or scale down their operations to match their workflow and will mean that they are not paying out a huge chunk of their business revenue on costly office rental contracts or staff wages.
These days your company staff no longer need to be chained to their work desks or glued to their computer screens to ensure that their tasks get completed. The introduction of portable IT products such as laptops, tablets and smartphones have enabled workers to carry their work with them. This has lead to a lot of employers offering flexible work contacts to their employees that has enabled many of them to hire remote staff that can work from home so they don’t have to pay out to supply their workers with a physical bricks and mortar office, the IT and telecommunications infrastructure needed, or power and water services that go with a standard office lease.
For the business owner, this is a very freeing approach because they can simply take on more remote freelance or contracted staff to help them complete an incoming large project that their existing team may struggle to cope with on their own. It also means that they don’t need to turn down any opportunities that come their way simply because they lack the capacity to handle large projects with the staff they currently have.
The use of online collaboration tools such as Slack and Smartsheet means that you can control all of your team members from one place, no matter where in the world they are! Your team can collaborate and share files, progress and essential information in one place and you can keep an eye on everything that is going on without needing to leave the comfort of your office.
With the use of modern technology combined with flexible working patterns, many business owners find that they no longer need as many office desks or workstations than before. Because not every employee is in your office all day every day, you can look at saving yourself a lot of money by having a scaled-down office structure where desk spaces are shared between employees.
Technology is a wonderful thing for productivity and efficiency at work, but you may not want to go as far as using smart sensor technology to monitor your desk occupancy, but it is useful to know how many people are using desk space at any one time.
Knowing how long desks are left vacant can help you analyse how much desk space your company actually needs. You could look at incorporating hot desks or workspace benches where your employees have somewhere to work from while in the office, but isn’t their own designated area and is shared by your team as a collective.
Virtual Office Options
Is there actually a need for you to have a workplace office or reception area at all?
This is a very important question to ask yourself, especially if you are setting yourself up as a sole trader or solo-entrepreneur. You may be thinking of starting up a small business from home or from a small workshop or retail shop where you either don’t have the space for an office set up, or you simply don’t need to run an office or have a reception area.
Of course, if you are setting up on your own, you will have to realise that you need to handle all of your business administration tasks by yourself and that includes answering your business calls, doing your own bookkeeping and business accounts as well as opening and dealing with all your business post.
For a lot of solo-entrepreneurs with big ideas, the thought of doing everything yourself, right down to being your own receptionist and office clerk, can be very frustrating. The time it takes to do your everyday administration tasks can be huge, and it is time that could be better spent more productively elsewhere on your business.
This is why Complete Virtual Office Services have taken off in recent years, especially amongst small business owners that are trying hard to start and grow their business on a limited budget. Virtual office services are wonderful tools for a solo-entrepreneur simply because they don’t need to blow their budget on leasing office space and hiring administrative staff to look after these essential business tasks.
By using virtual services you can free up your time to spend engaging with prospective new customers or building your business network, or simply actually doing your work instead of getting distracted and interrupted by answering the phone every time it rings.
If you think you can handle your incoming business post by yourself because that is just one task per day and can be handled in the morning, then this task is still time-consuming enough to tie up a decent chunk of your working day. Answering your telephone on top of this is different because the phone can ring at any time during the day. This is why it makes good business sense to look at using a professional call answering service such as the one offered by Capital Offices.
Professional call answering services can free up your time and allow you to concentrate on your work without constant interruptions. This means that you can become more productive and are able to better meet your client deadlines. Your business calls will be in the safest of hands and will ensure that not a single phone call is missed because you are busy working or are with an important client that needs your full attention.
With a call answering service alone you will greatly benefit because you will never lose any new opportunities coming from curious potential customers and your callers will be impressed that you have a professional receptionist answering their call instead of the stressed-out boss who is obviously struggling to manage everything on their own.
Winning new clients and holding on to your existing customer base is crucial if you want your business to remain sustainable. A lot of business success is down to your customer service and the way you communicate with people.
There is so much modern technology available that you can take advantage of to make managing your customer relationships easier, and that includes outsourcing some of your essential business tasks to experts in their field that can help you.
Rather than struggling with numbers and balancing your books, you can look at hiring a professional accountant or using an online bookkeeping and accounting solution, such as QuickBooks. For your business administrative tasks, you can look at hiring either Complete Virtual Office Services or just having your business calls taken care of via a Professional Call Answering Service.
Additional physical workspace such as meeting rooms are also being changed for the better by modern technology. No longer do you need to pay out rent on a meeting room that is hardly used on a regular basis. Instead, you can look at taking advantage of hiring ready to use meeting room space in London for your important client meetings or as a gathering place for your annual AGM.
All these advancements mean that you can help your business to reach high levels of productivity, collaborate easily with all of your team without the need to keep them tied to your office, and save a lot of money by using apps, software tools and virtual services.
If you would like more information about any of our professional business services, feel free to call our friendly team on 0207 566 3939 or email us: [email protected] or why not pop in to meet us at Capital Office, Kemp House, 152 – 160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX.