Did you know it’s the 21st century? Does your business? With the ‘wired generation’ now firmly in the employment market, businesses need to keep up and re-invent themselves to match the growing pace of the world.
Harvard Business Review says that many businesses still don’t know how to compete in the technological market. And with the world on mobile phones, conversations existing through apps and the news on-tap through apps, if companies can’t keep up they are sure to fail.
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Modernising the workplace doesn’t just mean new computers and apps, but a detailed rehaul of the way business is conducted. Keeping up with technology doesn’t have to cost thousands; regular updates do mean spending some money, but the benefits of doing so are worth it.
One of the first things a possible client sees about your business is the website or the office. These two things have to reflect the forward-thinking and the integrity of the company. And, ideally, must reflect the other. A super elegant and minimalistic website is jarring when set against a cluttered office that hasn’t been decorated since the 70s.
The aesthetics of your business should be consistent and should reflect who you are. Florists shouldn’t have an image of a computer as the background, for example. Everyone wants to find a niche that sets them apart from the competition, but the visual representation must be cohesive to possible customers. Sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason.
Your website should also look modern. A site created ten years ago will look outdated and cluttered compared to a site created yesterday. A website should be updated regularly, and the design refreshed every year or so. If you’re not a technology wiz, there are plenty of drag and drop website building sites to make it easy, like WordPress or Wix, or you can outsource to a web designer.
If your work-team is young and forward facing, then so should your business. If you are a serious law firm, then your outward amenities should reflect this. Just because one thing is in vogue doesn’t mean that is how you should create your business; you are building something to last, and you should stay true to the integrity of your company.
The office should reflect the modern aesthetic of your business, but it should also be comfortable and practical. Your employees will create better work if they are happy in their surroundings. Things like the layout of departments or furniture, proximity to the kettle and the force of the AC should all come into account when you design (or redesign) your office layout.
Encouraging communication between departments by utilising an open layout can boost collaboration and productivity. By ensuring the office kitchen isn’t at the other end of the building, means that the frequent tea-runs don’t cut into working time too much. At the same time, cutting out things like the ability for a cuppa will diminish morale and creativeness will suffer.
Many companies now offer the choice of a standing desk for their office employees. The arguments for them revolve around the benefits of posture and the decrease in back pain. Looking into options like this will create a diverse and modern working environment.
Is it time to look at the sort of employees you hire? No one is suggesting firing and hiring, but when taking on new workers, perhaps look into options other than the traditional nine to five contact.
The working nation 2017 is full of new possibilities for workers; from freelancers to outsourcing. If there is an area of your business where you feel can be done to a great standard by outsourcing, then do. You can outsource an entire department like finances, or if the work is something that doesn’t need attention every day, look into a freelancer or a gig worker for things like design or web management.
It’s time to talk tech – starting with the computers in your office, to the apps on your phone. Honestly, ask yourself if it’s time for an upgrade? If the monitors are fine then is the software? Are there better options for you out there that can boost productivity and ease for your team?
Fortunately, the wired generation has been raised with the world at their fingertips and can learn to navigate new technology in moments.
Unfortunately, this generation is also impatient; they are so used to instant answers through the web, fast broadband speeds and minimal to no buffering. The best way to take advantage of this tech-savvy generation is to meet the rising technological influences.
Social media apps are already on 99% of people’s phones – so why aren’t they being utilised for your business? Each platform you have a personal profile on – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so on – you should have a business profile too. Manage it yourself, delegate to an employee or outsource the job, but social media is the number one type of technology your business should be taking full advantage of.
Business apps are everywhere and can be used to boost your company. From apps that generate and track invoices, to HR apps for holiday requests, and shift rotation apps. There will always be something that can help to make the running of your business smoother.
Inc. has generated a list of the top 30 gadgets for businesses, although the site is American, all the products are available in the UK. Among the gadgets are office equipment like smart printers and chargers, and personal advantages like laptop cases with built-in chargers and smart wallets.
There is no end to the amount of technology out there, and the only issue is finding the right one for you.