The workplace has a bit of a love-hate relationship with tech: Many organisations require an array of devices to function at their best, but with this can come an array of distractions. So, what is out there that can really help supercharge a business? Peter Ames, from OfficeGenie.co.uk, looks at what gadgets could give a productivity boost:
Get a good router
First and foremost, as the lifeblood of almost every industry, most businesses require a top-class internet connection to work at their very best. Obviously a lot of this comes with the strength and quality of an internet connection, but a router has a part to play too.
Firstly, a basic factor is that your router (at least) supports the 802.11n wireless standard. Also, if your office is any larger than 1500 square feet (enough for around 20-30 people) the basic router you’d get with most packages just won’t be enough. If this is the case, then you’d need to look for a VPN or UTM gateway router; both are more secure and will generally facilitate a faster connection.
Wearable tech is definitely one thing that can polarize opinion. But many do see it as a great way to measure and improve employee efficiency: Tesco, for example, use armbands to aid stock replenishment (in place of staff using clipboards), while they can also track things such as employee fatigue levels.
However, people can find them invasive, with many devices able to gather sensitive information about employee wellbeing; Mike Weston, CEO at data-science company Profusion, said one staff member was "the most stressed he'd ever seen her" when asked to wear a fitness-tracking device. As with many things – if you implement them well, then wearables can still be a productivity booster in your workplace.
Not quite devices, but apps have a real place in helping an office become that bit more productive. Check out our favourites below:
• Toggl: Time-management software that helps you keep on top of what’s happening when
• Hootsuite: A (relative) oldie but a goody – allows you to schedule all your tweets in advance
• Lastpass: Stores all your passwords in a ‘bank’ – meaning you only need to remember one (rest assured it’s also more secure)
• Evernote: A multi-platform note-taking app, great for to-do lists you can access across all devices
The ‘internet of things’ is well and truly hitting the workplace, with everything from smart fridges to smart locks available. Both have advantages, whether it be saving staff from gone off food – to making sure all your documents and data is that bit more secure
Perhaps most impressive is the iKettle. This makes that most important workplace task, the tea round, that little bit more efficient. It allows you to start water boiling without wasting time getting up and going to the kitchen. When it comes to devices that help boost your office’s productivity – we don’t think they come much more quintessential than this.
Peter Ames is Product Manager at OfficeGenie.co.uk – a UK search site for office space