How can technology reduce time spent on tasks?It’s true that poorly implemented technology can gum up the works, but as long as the transition is handled by a knowledgeable professional, growing pains will be kept to a minimum. There is always a fear that the technology will be too complex, or that it won’t deliver on time-saving promises, resulting in just another layer of busywork. It’s a fair concern, because with every new breakthrough in technology, it takes time to get the implementation just right. In recent years, there have been numerous attempts to link modern communications technology with the rhythm of daily work, and the initial results were occasionally frustrating. That’s no longer a concern, though, and companies can realize significant time-saving, and team-saving benefits with the right piece of software or hardware. How can a leap forward in A/V communications, for example, cut down on wasted time and frustration?
1. Better information access – One of the major pressure points for any company, no matter its size or reputation, is how it organizes and maintains its information. This includes information that some workers, particularly those in client services, need to access on a daily basis. If an employee needs to dive into the company’s network to fish out a single piece of information, that is a waste of time, not to mention a likely source of frustration on the employee’s part. Even worse, businesses often have no contingency in place if their network goes down. If a customer calls and requests something, they may be out of luck, and they’re likely going to look elsewhere.
Network redundancy is just plain common sense, but investing in easy to use customer management software, along with proper databasing practices, can make life much easier for employees acting as the initial point of contact for the company.
2. Better collaboration – Another pressure point is internal communications. It seems like every business on the planet could improve in this area, and it should be a priority, as poor communication between departments and team members is a major source of conflict. Everyone who has worked together on a project knows what it’s like to track down several people in an effort to get a single answer, a single document or a single confirmation. This is where collaboration technology can make a real difference.
Collaboration solutions, which run the gamut from simple project management suites, to video and mobile conferencing solutions, can bring teams together like never before. And here, A/V integrators and business leaders are iterating extremely fast. Where once the large conference room was the standard, now companies are switching to compact collaboration spaces, usually dubbed “huddle rooms,” to encourage organic, rapid collaboration among smaller teams. The result is more responsive communication between team members, increasing productivity. If someone needs a quick answer to a lingering question, improved collaboration ensures they get that answer in record time, ensuring they aren’t bogged down by endless e-mail chains or phone calls that go nowhere. The rise of enterprise collaboration has been so rapid and so effective that it is now impossible to accomplish far-reaching goals without it.
3. Better availability – Employees often need to travel, or stay home with a sick child, or the company they work for simply embraces and emphasizes flexibility. Working remotely isn’t for everyone, but a large portion of professionals are happier, and therefore more productive, when they are allowed to work where they want. Business leaders are picking up on this, and in an attempt to lure the best and brightest, they offer telecommuting as a perk. However, it isn’t without its complications.
Sharp collaboration is extremely important with remote employees, and it’s wise to invest in mobile conferencing to best accommodate those not in the office. A remote worker who is left without an easy portal to other team members is going to operate in quicksand. Collaboration is a viable way out of the pit.
Further, telecommuting professionals are usually allowed to use their own device to get their job done. This Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, phenomenon is a popular one among businesses and their IT departments, because it usually cuts down on the busywork that help desk workers have to put up with. People are better at troubleshooting their own devices, so moving to a BYOD model can give the overworked IT people a break. However, a BYOD approach necessitates strong network security and accessibility, so this must be addressed before making the jump.
4. Better meetings – Collaboration is one thing, but once the meeting actually starts? Everyone dreads the dead end meeting that takes forever and accomplishes little. Of course, meetings are a necessary evil, but managers spend up to half their time at work organizing and executing them. Any gains here, then, can have a multiplicative effect on productivity.
An effective approach to enhancing meeting speed and engagement is with an interactive display. Many are purpose-designed for corporate meetings, allowing remote employees to access the board, and everyone to annotate from their own device. A bright, vivid display makes it easier for people to pick up information at a distance, and media used with the board is more interesting than flipping through a printout.Technology doesn’t have to be intimidating or exhausting. When planned out in advance and guided by an expert, like an A/V integrator, new technology keeps employees from getting bogged down and run down. In short, modern technology offers a refreshing and effective change for many professionals.