Take a look around your office, and chances are some of the equipment you see on your desk or being used by your colleagues would have been confined to the realms of science fiction just a few short years ago. The world of consumer and business technology moves incredibly quickly, whether with incremental improvements to existing devices or brand new, revolutionary items that can impact the entire world.
Keeping your organisation up-to-date may no longer be enough – the most successful businesses need to be able to predict how the office environment will change in the coming years and remain agile enough to adapt. Expert research into technological evolution can shed some light on what the future will bring, but there are also changes your business can make today to get ahead of the curve.
All mobile, all the time
When the first iPhone was released almost ten years ago, few could have predicted just how much of an impact it would have. Nowadays, however, with figures from Nielsen showing that Australians own over 15 million of the devices and spend more time using them than any other digital device, it’s difficult to imagine a world without them.
Think about how this level of device penetration could be utilised in your business. With BYOD solutions increasing in popularity and methods of communication becoming much more fluid, making your office more mobile-friendly is a smart move. This can even extend to your printing solutions – so long as your workforce are informed of the benefits.
Despite the development of features like Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, research from IDC into the uptake of smartphones and tablets in the workplace found that over a third of users were unaware how to print from their chosen device. Ensuring everyone knows how to get the most out of their mobile device at work should be your first order of business.
‘The office’ – not necessarily one place any more
Another of the benefits your organisation may enjoy if it opts to increase the use of smart devices is the ability to have a more mobile workforce. The traditional notion of an office is changing, and thanks to developments in internet-connected technology and unified communications (UC) platforms, the next generation of workers could be based anywhere on the map.
According to research from IDG Enterprise, two-thirds of small- to medium-businesses plan to make the change to UC within the next year, with many predicted to opt for either hybrid or full cloud-based solutions. Moving to a modern, platform agnostic UC solution means the office communications experience can be replicated essentially anywhere, from almost any device.
That flexibility may be considered an enticing perk by many employees, with research by Forrester predicting the number of remote workers will grow to over 60 million in the US this year. If the same or even greater levels of productivity can be reached from anywhere, does it actually matter whether your staff report to the office every day?
Greater flexibility leads to greater performance
A study from Stanford University into the productivity of remote workers at Chinese travel site Ctrip found that employees working from home were happier, more productive and less likely to leave the company, according to the Harvard Business Review. Those improvements in performance are within the grasp of companies willing to embrace the future of the office environment.
Whether it’s through increased usage of smart devices in the office or breaking down the barriers of the traditional workplace, readying yourself for the coming years can start today. Speak to our team about your office of the future including Fuji Xerox office devices and IT services.