Staying on trend – why workplace technology matters more than ever

Technology is a central part of almost any workplace nowadays

On a typical day we might use a laptop, a phone, a tablet, a pair of headphones – and that’s just the equipment we have lying on our desks.

Elsewhere in the average office, we might use video call services, various TVs, monitors and displays, meeting room technology…even the coffee machine in the kitchen. Almost every area of the workplace is influenced by technology, and that technology influences the staff that surround it.

It stands to reason, then, that businesses should be placing huge value in the quality of the technology they provide to staff, and there are many reasons why.

It opens up a world of possibilities

The beauty of technology is that it can provide innovative new experiences that can practically transform how we work together. Even in the last few years, we’ve gone from dialling in to conference calls to using video call services to communicate with colleagues that could be on the other side of the world, in real-time, without leaving the office. That is a huge business advantage and something that people might not have even thought possible twenty-or-so years ago.

And that’s without mentioning the technologies that are set to shape the course of the next twenty years. We are already seeing the likes of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) making their very first forays into the workplace, and its potential is set to grow massively over the next few years. It might be hard to predict at this moment in time, but these technologies will undoubtedly be making our working lives simpler in the near future.

It boosts staff productivity and motivation

There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down at your desk first thing in the morning, only to wait 20 minutes for your ten-year-old laptop to boot up. Not only does this impact overall productivity levels, but it is a serious demotivating factor among staff. Where’s the incentive to do your best work if you’re having to deal with outdated laptops and phones?

While providing staff with high-quality technology is a financial investment, it is almost always one that delivers huge return on investment in the form of boosted motivation and productivity. It shows staff that they’re valued, and enables them to achieve much more in a typical day. As written in an article for Forbes, “technology in an organization today must enable people to be more productive, efficient and innovative; stay connected internally and externally; and feel safe and cared for. It should facilitate the comfortable and expeditious flow of people, ideas and emotions.”

It’s a huge deciding factor for prospective staff

As technology has begun to play an increasingly large role in the workplace in recent years, it has also become something that prospective staff take into account when looking for new jobs.

For example, let’s say that an individual is job-hunting for a marketing role, and secures two job interviews at two different companies. The jobs roles are similar, as is the pay, but after attending the interviews she notices that company number one uses new, state-of-the-art laptops and meeting room equipment, while company number two is relying on laptops that are practically falling apart. It’s clear which company the individual is going to choose.

Another emerging trend that has tremendous pulling power for prospective employees is ‘choose your own device’, or CYOD. Instead of simply being given a laptop and a phone on their first day, CYOD allows staff to choose from a selection of different company-approved devices, regardless of brand and according to their preferences. As cross-party and cross-platform working becomes easier, CYOD is something that all businesses need to consider taking into account as part of their core IT offering.

Of course there is still the issue of cost, but the financial burden associated with technology investment can be alleviated by using subscription models to actually purchase the assets. Opting for an OPEX approach rather than a CAPEX one is a far more financially viable way of benefiting from the latest technology.

The quality and performance of technology in the workplace are far more important than many people realise. The right technology can increase productivity, boost morale and satisfaction among current employees and even attract new staff to the business. It is these benefits that make workplace technology more important today than ever before.

About the Author

Tim Morgan-Hoole is Managing Director of JTRS (part of the Econocom Group). JTRS Ltd is one of only a few Apple Solution Experts in Education and business in the UK. Through our locally provided services and solutions we empower people to transform their organisations using the most reliable, powerful and technologies in the world.