Tech changes fast these days. And it’s not just smartphones and gaming consoles that seem to shift with the winds. Office tech is a constantly moving target as well.
It’s time to take a look around your own office and begin imagining what’s possible. Chances are very good that you’re still relying on legacy systems that aren’t adequate to serve your current needs — and will deteriorate even further in the coming years.
Ready to make a change? Consider upgrading these eight office tech systems as soon as you can.
- Your WiFi
When was the last time you thought about your office WiFi? Really, truly thought about it, rather than curse it for cutting out at inopportune times? It has probably been a while, but now’s the time. A new generation of WiFi solutions beckons for business owners and office managers willing to make the switch.
Cutting-edge solutions like Plume WorkPass offer more than just fast, adaptive WiFi for your small business. They also feature AI-powered network security, guest analytics and insights for customer-facing businesses, workforce management and access controls, and even motion-sensing capabilities that enhance on-premise security and service.
That’s a massive improvement over your basic business WiFi service. It’s enough to ask why you’d wait a week longer to enhance your WiFi with the right solution.
- Your Printing, Copying, and Scanning Capabilities
Your office printer is a workhorse, handling dozens of print and copy jobs a day. You probably use its scanning capabilities a fair bit too.
If it’s serving you well, why mess with a good thing?
For starters, because print/scan/copy technology has changed a lot in the past few years, all for the better. Next-generation equipment is sleeker, smaller, more efficient, and better at what it does.
Another consideration: Your print/scan/copy machine might still be plugged into an ancient landline that serves absolutely no purpose any longer. When was the last time you sent or received a fax?
Make the switch and say goodbye to at least one bundle of wires (not to mention a costly monthly service charge, if you’re still paying for hardwired phone service).
- Your Lighting
You may tolerate your office’s harsh overhead fluorescents, but it’s unlikely you like them. Chances are, you hate them. It’s just that swapping them out for softer, soothing LEDs is an expensive prospect.
It’s worth the cost and effort. And you don’t have to go all the way. Mix in some strategically located floor lighting with some LED wall or disc lights and you’ll have a viable alternative to full-power overhead fluorescents. You might never need to turn on those overheads again.
Consider going one step farther and making your office lighting a full-fledged member of your office tech team. Smart lighting system costs have declined precipitously in recent years, and the prospect of app-based control at a distance is nothing short of revolutionary.
- Your Furniture
Office furniture counts as office tech?
You bet it does. Have you seen what office desks can do these days?
If you haven’t, it’s because you’re using obsolete office furniture that no longer serves your team’s needs. It’s time to upgrade your office furniture to hybrid desks capable of raising and lowering to suit employees’ preferences, powering devices with built-in outlets and ports, and supporting adaptive lighting for a range of ambient scenarios and work modes.
If you’re concerned about the cost of a wholesale office furniture upgrade, space it out over two or three years. This helps build employee support for the change anyway, as hesitant team members see just how impactful better workstations are for the early adopters.
- Your Computer Workstations
The electronics sitting atop your obsolete desk have probably seen their best days too. While many office managers (and business owners) remain tempted by fixed-in-place desktop or tower machines, these devices just aren’t adaptable enough to thrive in many modern workplaces.
If you’ve adopted a hybrid approach to in-person work, allowing employees to work from home and office as their schedules dictate, you need a portfolio of secure, high-power laptops capable of handling all your business needs.
It’s up to you if you want to allow “BYOD” (bring your own device) laptops. That’s certainly a lower-cost shift, at least initially. But don’t rely exclusively on desktop machines any longer. Those days are over.
- Your Document Storage and Signing Capabilities
Your office — your whole company, actually — needs a secure, cloud-based document storage solution that can handle the vast volumes of sensitive data it creates.
That solution, or a complementary one, should offer secure document signing and notarization without physical copies. And it should be set up for version control at scale, so that you always know you’re on the same page (literally) as your team.
- Your Access Controls
Is your office a “card-carrying” member of the keycard club? Or are you still relying on physical keys or punch code locks?
You don’t need to change out your locks right now, but there’s no reason not to equip your team with higher-tech keycards that can be customized (and deactivated) at will. If it has workforce management capabilities, your enterprise WiFi solution may be able to help.
- Your Electrical Infrastructure
This is another “is it tech or is it not” category that forward-thinking office managers treat as the former.
There’s a strong argument as to why. If your office was last renovated more than 10 or 15 years ago, it almost certainly lacks the density of electrical infrastructure necessary to support a thriving enterprise. Some of the office tech systems we’ve touched upon here, including high-tech office desks and smart lighting, might not be as effective on these old-style wiring plans.
Talk to a commercial electrician about your business’s needs and what it’ll take to bring your office into the 2020s.
Say Goodbye to Old Office Tech That No Longer Serves Your Needs
Out with the old, in with the new.
That’s the promise of an office tech upgrade. Even if you’re reluctant to mess with systems that seem to be working fine, you know deep down that your business will be better off when you do.
With such a clear business case — and, let’s be real, the prospect of exciting new capabilities at your team’s fingertips — there’s no reason to delay any longer. So say goodbye to the office tech that isn’t serving you any longer and prepare to welcome a new generation of solutions.