The workplace has always revolved around technology. Even in the hit series “Mad Men,” typewriters and televisions reigned supreme for productivity. Before that, having newspapers around the office changed the way employees stayed current with events (if their jobs relied on it). Unlike these older types of technology, today’s devices measure productivity in seconds.
Whether it’s smartphones or new services, the following devices will keep your office running effectively and efficiently in 2016.
You can’t live without your smartphone in your personal life, so why should your professional life be any different? Everything from email to social media happens on your smartphone, and it’s the perfect device for when you’re on the go. In a perfect world, work starts at 8:00 and ends at 5:00, but the reality is that millions of Americans check up on projects and correspondence outside of the office.
If your employees are checking up on work at home (not that we recommend you make that policy), arm them with the latest devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or the Apple iPhone 6s. If an employee prefers to use his or her own personal device for work, consider a tax-deductible reimbursement program.
Even with the most seamless docks, carrying a full-sized laptop to and from meetings is a pain, and desktop computers aren’t going anywhere. If you think about the functions needed in 99 percent of meetings, there’s nothing a tablet can’t handle. Whether you prefer an iPad or Surface Pro, a tablet speeds up movement around the office and shaves time during meetings. Best of all, there’s no complicated setup.
If typing on a touchscreen sounds like a nightmare, Microsoft created a device that has the best of both worlds with functionality and portability. The Surface Book works like a full laptop computer — keyboard and all — and the screen can detach to a fully functional Surface tablet. Apple will most likely respond to the Surface Book soon, but for now Microsoft is leading the charge into this new demographic of computers.
Video Conferencing Tech
If you care about productivity, have a work-from-home policy at your company, suggests the Harvard Business Review. Equip all employees with video conferencing technology to make communication and collaboration possible even when your staff is in different locations. While there’s nothing wrong with phoning into a meeting, it doesn’t give you the chance to look over documents with colleagues and have the face-to-face interaction that is necessary for good collaboration. GoToMeeting is one of the most popular video conferencing services because it gives you the option to video chat, share screens and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets.
Cloud Storage & Collaboration
This is another must-have tool for employees who are working from home. Local IT servers rarely have remote access for security reasons, so a good cloud storage account keeps everyone current on the latest versions of projects when some employees are in the office and others are at home. There are dozens of enterprise-level services that promise all the bells and whistles to help you stay organized, but all it takes is a good Dropbox account. You can pay more for additional storage, up to 1TB, to suit your needs.