Trying to keep up with the latest technology in your office space? Technology can be both a way to improve your business and a potential obstacle to performance. It is important to not only know what technology is available to your business, but how to maximize the ways you can use it. Here are a few things to consider in order to asses whether or not your business is using technology as wisely as possible, as outlined in the article “Stay Connected”:
If you and your employees have smartphones, make sure you are using them to their full potential. This means more than just internet access, emailing, calling, and texting. Use the calendar app to sync contacts and commitments from email and social media. Look into apps that can help you send invoices and receive payments. There are apps out there for a variety of different things to help your business stay organized, mobile, and customer friendly. Make sure that you are fully aware of what your smartphone could do for your business.
#2 Cloud Storage
This program allows you to access documents from any computer wherever you are. You can do this through iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, or other programs that allow you and your employees to share documents from anywhere. One of the benefits of using these online documents is that you can even have employees working on the same document simultaneously from different places. Cloud storage is also a great way to store documents without taking up space in your office with file cabinets or big servers.
If you know you need internet access on the go and don’t want to rely on finding accessible Wi-Fi in places, learn how to turn your cell phone into a modem or “hot spot” for internet on other devices, such as your laptop. This way you can connect to the internet to do work from anywhere—whether it is in a park on the weekend or an airport waiting for a flight.
#4 Skype and FaceTime
These apps allow you to call or video chat employees and clients from anywhere in the world, as long as you have Wi-Fi. This can facilitate interviews and meetings from all different places around the world, and allows you to actually see the person you are talking to, making it easy to present a product or interpret someone’s reaction.
#5 Messaging Apps
There are several web based instant messaging apps available, including Viber, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Voxer. These are alternative ways to connect with people besides texting; these apps work if you are on Wi-Fi or using cell phone data. You can also use these apps for group messaging, eliminating any inconsistencies in carriers or phones that might make texting difficult.
Remember that just because you and your employees can work anywhere does not mean you should work anywhere. Just because speedy responses are possible does not mean that you want to set up the expectation that you can be contacted at any time. Learn to turn off and set limits for yourself, whether you are working from an office or at home. Take advantage of the flexibility technology offers, but always strive for a healthy balance between your personal and work life.
Look into the technology your business uses and see if you are using it as effectively and efficiently as possible—technology can be a great way to streamline your business and increase productivity without creating more work for yourself!