Technological advancements have changed the landscape of the modern office, altered our work processes and made a world of difference to operations. The digital age has seen bulky desktop computers, filing cabinets and even the humble stapler brought to the end of their shelf life, all in the name of progress. So what essentials do we now need to create a user-friendly, productive environment in the new modern office?
Super-fast internet access
In today’s internet driven world, keeping everything online can save you time and increase your efficiency. Using a server will mean all of your documents can be accessed and shared by your colleagues, creating a more convenient way to collaborate on work and store information.
Lee Penson, CEO of the pioneering commercial architectural company Penson, has worked on visionary projects for Google, Jay Z and YouTube. Penson, an expert when it comes to creating super productive workspaces, claims that: “Technology can make you fly. It will unlock potential and give you freedom.”
Digitise your documents
“Almost every piece of paper will now be digitised and stored, so it must be easy to do” suggests Marc Lawn, all round business guru and senior executive with more than 20 years of experience. Offices in every industry are fast becoming paperless, and one way to digitise your printed documents is by scanning them onto your computer server.
When you do scan your documents into your computer, take care to be security conscious and use a paper shredder to dispose of any sensitive or important information.
To stay ahead of the game in 2017, it’s important to be as technologically advanced as you can and as green as possible. So, to get everything started in the right direction, introduce a recycling bin to your workspace. On top of making a small contribution to helping the environment, recycling waste shows that your company cares. As Lawn puts it: “By having a recycling bin, it sends a message to your staff and guests that you really care about the environment and want to do your bit for the planet.”
Whiteboards are a great opportunity to bring colleagues together to communicate and get creative. Leave the technology to one side and simply invest in a whiteboard and some non-permanent marker pens and watch the creativity start to flow.
Using a whiteboard can also make your overall communications more efficient. Lawn says: “In the rapidly changing world we operate in, it is far more productive to actively engage input using an interactive whiteboard than to send an email, ask for change, make the changes and then send out again for approval, and so on.”
“One of my clients has installed an interactive whiteboard and they group account teams together when they need to respond to enquiries. It has cut the turnaround time in half and reduced the email traffic by almost 10pc across the business.”
A lot can be said for a little fresh air and water for increasing productivity in the work place. While technology is now essential in a modern day office, Penson says that there is still a place for nature in the work environment: “Make it clean and healthy, with fresh air, a bowl of fruit, plenty of fresh drinking water and fruit juices. As an old friend of mine says: ‘Health makes everything possible.’ There is no logic to work being bad for your long term health.”
Expanding on the theme of office wellbeing, Penson suggests that flooding your workplace with natural light is essential to creativity and productivity: “You need a space that will inspire you – not a room with a horrible suspended ceiling. You want warmth and the feeling of natural space.”
In the modern workplace many hours can be spent seated at a desk, facing a screen. With so much time spent sitting down, it is important to have a good, comfortable chair. Gemma Went, an online business consultant, says: “We are sitting for long periods of time, and that’s not good for the body at all. So take the time to research, or even ask someone who knows about ergonomics in the workplace, to make sure you are set up as healthily as possible.”
Live streaming and video conferences are an essential part of the modern office. They make it possible to work with, and meet people who could be sat on the other side of the world. But to get the most out of these meetings, you have to invest in quality cameras and microphones. Went says: “you need a top-of-the-range microphone. It makes a world of difference. After all, you may have a good-looking office but that won’t count for anything if you can’t hear your clients or staff.”