Trends In Smart Workplaces That Boost ProductivityAUTHOR: Indiana Lee
Optimizing productivity is the secret sauce for success in business. However, in today’s increasingly crowded and competitive market environment, where unpredictability is the order of the day, productivity has perhaps never been more important.
And despite the myriad challenges facing business leaders as they strive for ever-higher levels of performance, it is possible to meet and even exceed the most ambitious productivity goals. The secret lies in smart technology. By unleashing the power of tech innovation, business leaders can achieve unprecedented success in communication, collaboration, customer service, efficiency, and overall performance.
What Are Smart Workplaces?
Fundamentally, smart workplaces are those which capitalize on the tremendous capacities of digital technology to optimize communication, security, health and safety, and efficiency. Among the most important staples of smart workplaces include automation tools that expedite business operations and reduce human error, and sensors to optimize environmental conditions.
These essential technologies provide employees with the tools they need to do their work with maximum efficiency and accurately. They also ensure employees’ health, safety, comfort, and productivity in the working environment, reducing absenteeism and bolstering employee performance and job satisfaction. All of these workplace attributes are critical to driving productivity.
Smart Technology and the Hybrid Workplace
One of the greatest benefits of smart technology in promoting productivity is the capacity to create more flexible workspaces. For example, secure cloud technologies make it possible for employees to work hybrid schedules by ensuring they always have access to the materials, tools, and technologies they need.
This kind of workplace flexibility is increasingly important for both the well-being and the performance of employees today. The capacity to recreate a secure workplace wherever they happen means that employers no longer have to choose between productivity and meeting employees’ needs. An employee who is a working parent, for example, can stay home to care for a sick child while still collaborating as effectively and productively with their colleagues as if they were in the office.
Smart Technology and Interdepartmental Collaboration
Smart technologies aren’t just beneficial for maintaining high levels of productivity in hybrid environments. They’re also exceptionally effective in galvanizing interdepartmental collaboration onsite. For instance, tools such as Asana. Slack, Trello, and Caseware dramatically accelerate communication and information-sharing organization-wide.
This helps to prevent the development of damaging information silos that can significantly decrease efficiency through operational redundancies and human error. The more streamlined, transparent, and interconnected processes are across the organization, the more productive the enterprise as a whole will be.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Many of the most effective smart productivity tools belong to the category of The Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to a vast and rapidly expanding roster of internet-connected devices.
These technologies are the rockstars of job site productivity because they can perform functions that humans cannot perform — at least not without an immense expenditure of time and resources. For instance, IoT sensors can be used to continuously monitor the performance of heavy machinery in manufacturing facilities, detecting and alerting stakeholders to malfunctions in real-time. This enables managers to intervene immediately before a prospective machine failure can escalate into a full-blown crisis and prolonged work stoppage.
Likewise, IoT sensors can be used not only to automate processes but also to analyze them. This includes the ability to evaluate market trends, consumer behavior, and internal operating conditions to support evidence-based decision-making. This creates a more efficient, agile, and responsive operating environment, enhancing productivity through strategic proactivity.
Capitalizing on Smart Workplace Trends
When it comes to capitalizing on smart workplace trends to boost productivity in your organization, judiciousness is key. It’s imperative to understand the needs of your employees, your organization, and your industry to identify the smart technologies that are best for your company.
A good place to start in creating your own smart workplace is to look for solutions that will promote the satisfaction and well-being of your team, including remote workers. As has been shown, smart technologies can be especially beneficial in supporting workplace flexibility which, in turn, can help employees achieve a better work/life balance.
You might, for instance, equip your hybrid and remote workers with technologies such as high-speed Wi-Fi that they can use to video conference with their colleagues each day. Likewise, you might integrate collaboration tools that include a digital whiteboard, document sharing and editing, mind-mapping, and flowcharting.
All of these enable your distributed teams to work together seamlessly, no matter where they may be. This, in turn, ensures that you are creating a workspace that is sensitive to your employees’ individual needs while at the same time advancing team and organizational goals.
Driving productivity has always been critical to success in business, but the need has perhaps never been greater than it is today. Fortunately, business leaders have more and better tools than ever before for optimizing productivity. Smart workplaces harness the power of digital technology to maximize efficiency, communication, collaboration, security, and safety, resulting in often unprecedented levels of productivity.