Constructive Creativity: How to Use Technology to Increase Efficiency in the Work Place
Businesses have long been searching for ways to make their employees and their general processes more effective while simultaneously increasing efficiency. However, while some larger businesses seem to have stagnated in this regard, small and medium-sized businesses are often at the forefront of high-tech changes. Part of this development includes using new and improved technology to increase efficiency, thereby saving man-hours and money. No matter what size business you manage, consider integrating one or more of these unique techniques for using technology for your benefit.
Use Virtual Private Networks
Not often discussed in business settings, a virtual private network, or VPN, may be just what your business needs depending on the needs of your employees and on the type of services that you provide. A VPN allows your employees to work at home or anywhere else they can access the business’s server from a laptop or tablet. You could choose to use a VPN to allow some of your employees to work from home full-time or to give your employees an option of still working even if they need to stay home with a sick child. A VPN boosts productivity even when your employees are not in their offices.
Install Video Conferencing Devices
Video conferencing allows your colleagues to have meetings no matter where they are. It is far superior to audio-only conference calls because it allows individuals to enjoy the face-to-face meeting that can really get ideas across. Not only can this save on traffic time for employees who can now stay at home for meetings, but also it can save you money when you do not have to fly out-of-office individuals in long-distance for meetings.
Update Collaborative Software
By now, you have most likely invested in software that allows employees to collaborate on projects while avoiding the time-consuming process of constantly working together in the same office space. There are so many options to consider within this category, making creative project management software a must for every business. For example, you could use a data sharing service, which allows employees to see and edit the same documents from mobile sites. By keeping software updated, it will continue to work as quickly as possible and will remain free of viruses and other bugs that could slow operations.
Use Online Scheduling and Time-Tracking Software
Similar to collaborative software, scheduling software and online time clocks allow employees to share information with you and their colleagues while mobile. An online scheduling system will let employees see when they work and share information with you that will help you determine hours, vacation time and more. Time-tracking software will save time by letting employees input their hours worked, miles driven and more when they are working away from the office.
Invest in VoIP Technology
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This technology takes audio and transforms it into a digital transmission. It allows you to assign a single number to your employees who can then be reached no matter where they are, including at their office desks, on their cell phones or at a home laptop. This can save time by giving you quick contact and by keeping employees apprised of all happenings at the office with a single call.
Technology can increase the efficiency and the productivity of your employees in a multitude of ways. From speeding up business meetings to allowing employees to work in their own time from a home office, you can use your creativity to make technology work for you. While the initial investment may require some funds as well as some of your time or may even require an outside professional to come in and set up your office with integrated computers or VoIP technology, the later pay-off is bound to be great.
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