From plumes to typewriters to computers, as beneficial as technology can be, some employers hesitate to embrace it. This resistance sometimes hinders employees and makes the simplest tasks needlessly complicated. It could be a double-edged sword where it can cut costs but runs the risk of decreasing productivity.
Here’s some insight on how technology can be incorporated into business for the long term.
Using a punch-in clock is a morning routine that can be stress-inducing at times. What’s the alternative to inserting an old-fashioned card into a punch-in device? Just look at current mobile technology. Apple and Samsung have enabled biometric scanning options for smartphone security, whether it’s with a scan of your face or your fingerprint. The same technology is being used in many workplaces for clock-in purposes. Employees can step into work, scan their finger, punch in their number, and be clocked-in digitally.
If you’ve looked for work during the last decade or so, you’re likely familiar with the multitude of ways to find jobs online. Likewise, businesses have many ways of finding candidates, including social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. According to Jobvite, which polled job recruiters from Whole Foods, Starbucks, and Etsy, most admitted to using their social networking platforms to generate referrals for jobs in their company, with 87% of employers using LinkedIn for social recruiting.
We tend to think of social media as ways to stay connected with family and friends, argue with strangers, or watch the occasional cat video. Currently, many companies use social networking to keep in touch with their customers. Along with analytical tools and options to boost views, advertising on social media is a necessary tactic for every business.
Video conferencing has made long-distance business travel an antiquated idea. It eliminates the use of land lines, along with associated travel costs like flights, accommodation, and food. Video conferencing software like Skype or GoToMeeting can save a company a small fortune when investing in regional or global expansion.
Using the Cloud
Cloud technology is becoming a staple of many businesses for its many applications. It can secure data on its own server, make that data accessible outside of the office, keep files up to date with automatic syncing across all devices, provide easier collaboration options, and more.
Despite what it can do, some businesses are hesitant to adopt cloud tech. But according to a survey by McAfee, hybrid cloud adoption grew three times in the past year, from 19% to 57%. Depending on the company, it may be more vital than other places. The same report shows that financial services and healthcare organizations are leaders in using cloud technology. These enterprises can’t run the risk of losing valuable information.
Alexa, the digital assistant attached to the Amazon Echo smart speakers, are a potential boon for small business owners in need of an assistant. A digital assistant can schedule meetings and appointments, send emails, and even edit documents. For more advanced applications, Alexa offers web analytics for your business’ social media or website. You can also install asset-management software for logistics and financing purposes. The more applications release over the coming years, the more useful these digital assistants will become to businesses.
Bringing Your Own Device
A current trend for many companies is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. It can save the company money by reducing hardware expenses and software licensing. Employees are also more comfortable using a familiar device. Oftentimes, employees are able to work faster if they’re familiar with the device they’re using.
As beneficial as it can be, a BYOD policy does come with some concerns. A device that hasn’t been specifically set up for the job in question may not always be up to the task, depending on the technical requirements for the job. It might also leave the business more susceptible to hacking or viruses if an employee hasn’t properly secured their device before accessing the company network. After all, the device would be outside the office space for much of the workweek. Private or sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands due to a careless or forgetful employee.
Ultimately, it isn’t a standard practice, but a BYOD policy, if properly implemented, could boost comfort levels at work and reduce stress. Smaller businesses have much to gain through such a policy by saving significantly on hardware and maintenance costs.
Employers having trouble integrating technology to their business need look no further than their smartphone. As distracting as it can be, a smartphone provides the necessary tools needed for modern life (GPS, instant messaging, etc.). There’s no need to hinder employees, so welcome any help you can get.
Alex Correa | Senior Writer