Automation is one of the best ways you can make your office work smarter instead of harder for yourself, your employees, and your bottom line.
Offering a wide range of smart technologies, the Internet of Things lets you change your office temperature, turn your lights on and off, open doors, run meetings, or access company information from anywhere, all with a few simple commands.
If you’re looking to modernize your office environment, streamline operations, and attract millennial and Gen Z talent, then it might be time to start looking into implementing office automation and smart technologies. Consider some of the following recommendations for ways to revamp your company offices and operations by upgrading to a technology-based environment.
Team Collaboration Tools
Chatting with team members is effortless when you use cloud-based communication tools that offer quick messaging systems. Members log in and can see instantly what’s going on with the team — a must, by the way, for millennial and Gen Z workers who are dependent on technology. Teams and managers can hold meetings, send private messages, and share documents and information with one another. Products like Slack, Skype, and Asana each offer a basic free plan, and paid plans provide advanced features for more than 10 users.
Automated Personal Assistants
If you’ve hired millennials or members of Generation Z, you’ve likely begun to see employees turn to mobile technology to surmount practically every obstacle they encounter — from turning off the lights at home to keeping track of mileage and receipts, checking their credit scores and even filing taxes — all via online platforms or digital apps on their smartphones. Nearly everyone at some time has asked Siri or Alexa a string of questions, listened to music, or purchased something on a mobile device at home. Now these personal assistants can provide a wealth of benefits in the workplace, as well.
Workstation automation can allow employees to adjust their schedules, send messages, set a timer, listen to the news, and even set personal climate controls to help eliminate the thermostat battle. If you have a very small office, you can use a single hub to automatically lock and unlock doors for increased security, and even create your favorite work playlist.
Control Your Environment
Although office renovations can feel like a huge undertaking, generally, physical workspace updates pay off in huge mental and physical benefits for employees (and consequently, for the company’s bottom line). So it’s usually worthwhile to assess potential updates with an architect, bid out and engage a contractor, schedule the work, rent a dumpster for the construction debris, and start making the physical changes happen!
Also, studies show that both the intensity and color of artificial lights can help shift individuals onto healthy circadian rhythms. By installing smart lighting, you can use bright white colors during the day to keep employees energized and productive. Then later, when people start wrapping up, you can set the lights to dim gradually to save money (and to help your employees sleep better once they get home).
Improve Your Customer Experience
There are plenty of products that help change and improve the way your customers interact with your company and automate your workflow. Chatbots provide instant communication with automated responses when a customer has a question while browsing your website. Online checklists for trade show or conference preparation can enhance outreach and marketing efforts.
Also, using AI learning, you can track the experience of your customers with your products from beginning to end. This can help you locate areas you need to improve and make it easier to provide customers with personalized recommendations for new products and services. You can also let customers sign up on your website to get instant text updates or other notifications for their orders. Not only does this reduce customer service calls, but also it can help improve customers’ overall experience.
Smart offices cater to tech-obsessed younger generations, which can help your company attract new talent and make your systems more productive, translating into greater ease, comfort, and productivity for all your employees. With just a few simple additions, you can bring about positive changes that only smart technology can provide, preparing your company for a more productive future.
Molly Barnes is a full-time digital nomad. She works remotely, travels constantly, and explores different cities across the U.S. She started her site, www.digitalnomadlife.org as a resource for travelers, nomads, and remote workers. Molly writes resources that help office and remote workers alike reach their personal and professional goals of becoming more successful. Follow along with her and her boyfriend Jacob on their blog as they pursue a nomadic lifestyle while freelancing and traveling across the country.