Work smarter, not harder. It’s a concept we’re all familiar with, and yet many companies are still remarkably old-fashioned in their approach to doing business. Certain ways of doing things are still entrenched in the global business culture – whether or not they’re actually the most efficient way of accomplishing your objectives.
Indeed, we still label companies who dare to try new approaches ‘disruptors’ – when actually they’re just doing what all businesses should: adapting to the times and embracing technologies that can help them better serve their customers. We take a look at some of the tech making waves in the business world – and how yours can get on board!
Smart home tech enters the smart office
You and your staff spend a lot of time at the office. It might even be something of a home away from home for you – so why not take advantage of smart home tech to make it a more comfortable, productive place? From smart thermostats and lighting options that help reduce your electricity consumption, to smart security systems that allow you to keep a beady eye on your premises after hours, there are countless ways smart home tech and gadgets can be useful for a small business.
Take remote work to the next level
If you’ve already experimented with letting more of your employees work from home, you’ll understand the many benefits it can have both for them and for you. Make sure you’re getting the most out of the arrangement with dedicated technologies like:
- Scalable cloud computing solutions
- Mobile tools for employees on the road
- Collaborative communication tools like Slack or Skype
- Business apps
- Industry-specific Project Management Tools
Let your employees help you
As a business owner, you’ve got to juggle a lot of plates. Between keeping abreast of industry changes and shifts, and managing budgets, departments and employees, it’s unrealistic that you also keep one eye on new business technologies. Here’s where your workers can help in a big way.
Encourage your employees to come forward with ideas for new technologies, services and products which can help them do their jobs better. Let them know you’re open to innovation and new ideas. You’ll almost certainly be amazed by the solutions they come up with – especially those young and tech-savvy individuals!
If possible, offer an incentive for really great ideas – such as some extra time off, or a commission based on your company’s savings or additional profits as a result of their suggestion.
Keep your premises secure
Unless your operation is 24/7, there are going to be times you’re more vulnerable to would-be burglars. Investing in some motion-activated cameras (which you can monitor from your smartphone wherever you are) may be a good solution for these periods.
During office hours, keep your employees and property safe through video doorbells and appropriate access control. Whether it’s a fingerprint-activated doorlock in Cape Coral or wireless intercom system in Cape Town, there are tailor-made solutions for every business location available!
The advent of 5G
2020 is set to be the year 5G rolls out across much of the developed world – and while some of the massive hype might be somewhat overstated, there’s no doubt it’s going to have a major impact. Start considering now how your business might be able to get ahead of the curve, and hit the ground running.
How might your customers’ needs change in a world where the speed of mobile networks outstrips traditional connectivity? How could your employees take advantage? From the smallest business to the largest corporate, there are going to be ramifications of some kind – will you be ready?
Voice AI for the office
If you’ve ever used Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant to add a reminder to your calendar, you’ve probably glimpsed the future of voice assistants for the office environment. It’s expected that big things will come for this technology in 2020, and here’s yet another opportunity for your company to benefit from early adoption.
Leading the charge so far is Microsoft’s Cortana assistant, which integrates with their Outlook products, but Google and Amazon are also investing heavily. If you use any of their products for business purposes already (and let’s be honest, that’s pretty much every business out there) then start doing your homework now so you’re ready to take advantage.
Keep your eyes open!
If your business has a specific pain point, there’s almost certainly a solution on the horizon, or even already available, to address it. Rather than accepting challenges, start actively looking for ways technology can help you get ahead.
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