Integrated Skype systems, large interactive monitors and high-quality laser projectors are just a few of these fundamental technologies. Skype room systems help employees to stay in touch remotely and liaise with workers around the world, while interactive monitors encourage employee collaboration and provide a space for creative expression. Laser projectors, on the other hand, provide a professional but seamless experience that fosters an innovative environment.
These technologies plug into the move towards a more creative, collaborative workspace, where employees can dial-in, share their presentations and make live iterations to worksheets from wherever they are working. It’s clear that they have a role to play in every office and can even be used as a base layer for companies to introduce more elegant office technology solutions.
Intelligent assistants are an example of these advanced solutions that can be used to improve productivity. Despite their slow adoption, the deployment of digital assistants is expected to accelerate over the next four years, with 25 per cent of digital workers set to use virtual assistants every day by 2021 (8). This year’s Consumer Electronics Show, so often the bellwether for innovations in consumer technology, was dominated by announcements from Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Whether you like them or not, they’re here to stay, and with over one billion devices now containing Google’s smart AI assistant (9), it’s a trend that will only increase. This staggering growth is symbolic of how useful these devices can be in the workplace. They can handle simple admin tasks such as diary scheduling, internet searches and to-do lists which often consume precious time and resources and can distract employees from other impactful work.
But to offset the risk of alienating workers, leaders have to take a measured approach to implementation. There is no silver bullet, but there are steps managers can take to ensure they get the most from their investment.
MODERN WORKING HABITS
Employees today are no longer restricted to working in the office. Many enjoy flexible working benefits where they can work at a place and time most convenient for them. While this is a rewarding experience for employees, it can often mean that a business will have half its workforce in the office while the other half is working elsewhere. To make this work, IT must be able to deploy technology that keeps their employees connected to the business while also providing a seamless and secure experience.
Thin client technology is a ready-made option. It provides an easy-to-manage solution that does not require local storage; it enables simple remote access as well as easy installation in employees’ homes or other working environment. Importantly, it does not require heavy IT maintenance. Employees simply log on to their system at home and remote into the company servers. This means they can maintain access to the same application and files without the need to reinstall or update any software. Therefore, employees can be as productive on the move and working in remote locations as they are in the office.
This shows that despite what many might think, you do not need to make wholesale changes to a business model or overhaul budget allocation for technology to make an impact. Ultimately, employees are at their most productive when they are comfortable, confident and given the scope to collaborate and be innovative. By choosing the right technology and fostering an environment of collaboration, leaders will discover that the task is a lot easier, cheaper and less daunting than initially thought.
A sign of a modern, progressive company is thinking about technology first when it comes to the role that employees must fill. Having outdated, faulty or incompatible technology is not only demotivating and frustrating for existing employees, it almost always turns off potential talent. Instead, by reassessing how technology can fit within your business, meeting modern collaborative ways of working and ensuring that employees can work securely and efficiently from home, businesses can provide the tools necessary for employees to do their job well.
Steve Roberts is UK Manager, Large Displays, Dell EMC.