You may be in the “if ain’t broke why fix it” camp. Yet even if some of your outdated office tools and technology aren’t actually broken, they could be crying out for an update (if only you spoke filing cabinet, you’d know!). Here are the top things we see that businesses could upgrade to improve productivity and add security.
First, let’s start with those traditional landline phones. Sure, they’ve done their job well for decades, but switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has many advantages. Don’t overlook the benefits of:
- streamlining voice and data services to save on bills and long distance;
- employees using VoIP communications wherever they have access to an internet connection;
- accessing features such as call waiting, screening, recording, auto attendant, and voicemail transcription;
- gaining greater flexibility to scale up and down as needed so you don’t need to pay for phone lines you don’t need;
- integrating calls with customer relationship management software for better data insights.
Saving, Sharing, and Revising Documents
Next up, those filing cabinets. For one, they may be an eyesore, plus, they’re taking up valuable real estate in your space. Today, many printers allow you to scan many pages at once and easily scan documents into content management software.
Moving to online document management also opens you up to many productivity gains. The software often supports optical character recognition (OCR), which makes scanned content searchable. Plus, the documents are available online, where and when employees need them. This is helpful in remote or hybrid work setups, but it also helps ensure you have a backup of critical documents if disaster strikes.
If you’re still filing documents in cabinets, you may have paper-based processes, too. Forms and folders get passed around for different people to sign off at various stages. This makes it easy for workflow to bottleneck or, worse, for documentation to get lost in the physical shuffle from place to place.
In a step up from this, a business might at least move documents around via email attachments. Everyone gets a chance to see the document and make comments. Then, some poor soul takes all responses and correlates them for the next round of revisions.
Replace these old-school approaches with online business tools built to enable collaboration. Microsoft 365, for example, allows people to work on documents at the same time. There are no more worries about version control, and everyone can track the file’s progress.
Enabling Remote/Hybrid Work
Cloud-based collaboration software not only helps with document exchange. Microsoft 365 also allows users to communicate efficiently via the Teams channels. They can also start video meetings, share screens, and co-work on files and PowerPoints. Plus, integrating Outlook contacts and calendars helps efficiency and scheduling.
All this helps support employees working remotely or coming into the office only some of the time. With online documents and databases, everyone can get work done without coming on-site. Plus, VoIP business calls forward directly to phones or laptops for seamless communication.
Put Away the Post-its, Too
One last thing we’d love to see people replace in their offices? Those Post-its with handwritten passwords stuck to the bottom of computer monitors or oh-so-stealthily under the paperclip organizer in their top desk drawers.
We all have many passwords, and we understand the impulse to write them down, but a safer strategy is to use a password manager. A password manager stores, generates, and manages passwords in an encrypted database. A password management solution – such as Keeper, LastPass, or LogMeOnce – is more cyber secure than that sticky notes.
Of course, every work environment is unique, and you might have some other outdated office technology we haven’t mentioned here. Need help bringing your business tools up to date? Our IT experts are here to help. We can review business practices and suggest the best solutions for your needs. Contact us today at (515)422-1995.