Tech and the Office: Improving Productivity with the Latest Gadgets

The ‘good old days’: none of us have been immune from lamenting that the past seems to be staying stubbornly in the past, but nostalgia for a time gone by may be being viewed through rose-tinted glasses. Thanks to a recent report from O2 Business and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, workers today are entirely more productive than their counterparts 40 years ago.

The report has shown that office productivity has increased by 84% per hour since the 1970s and this boost in performance has been put down to increased use of technology. In recent years, not only has the technology become more sophisticated, it has also become cheaper, as a hard disk space of one gigabyte in the past cost £120,000 compared to only 5p today.

It’s a win-win situation for employers and employees alike; the employee is able to multitask within an instant while it costs the employer next-to-nothing for the most advanced tech available on the market. The even better news? Another 22% rise is predicted by 2020.

Smart phones = smart workers

Mobile technology has been attributed as one of the greatest factors in the increase, along accessibility to the internet and Google. As the mobile phone allowed worked in the 80s to keep in touch with the office on the move, the phenomenon has only become easier and more sophisticated as smart phones and tablets became introduced.

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Talking to the Telegraph, Ben Dowd, the Director of O2 Business, said of the report: “Employees can now work anywhere they need to – whether that is in the office, from home or even on the move… This flexibility enables us to get more done during the working day than ever before, so businesses can focus on maintaining growth.”

Advancements in technology are rapid as new models of tablets and smart phones are introduced to the market on what feels like a daily basis. The concern for employers may be their workers ability to keep up to speed with the latest tech and the way it works, especially as few people are tech experts, but thanks to programs such as Microsoft Office, this doesn’t have to be a fear.

Keeping it simple

It cannot be disputed that providing employees with a smart phone is the way forward in maintaining a high level of productivity no matter the location of the worker. When looking for a device, keeping in mind the keyboard size and capabilities will help to make email quick, efficient and, most importantly, accurate, while Bluetooth and 4G will ensure that the employee can stay connected to the web at almost all times, meaning no loss of communication.

With Office having led to a simple way to work on a PC, more and more employees are now enjoying the benefits of Office on the go too. As Microsoft released iPhone and Android versions of Office in the summer of 2013, employers should be seriously considering enabling employees with its mobile products, allowing them to keep on top of Outlook and use programs such as Word and Excel on the go.

To keep things really simple, it’s wise to stick to one Operating System whenever possible. Keeping to the same OS will ensure that employees are given the comfort of a familiar interface whilst getting to know the likes of Office on the go, helping the transition become an every-day part of working life without any confusion.

A spokesperson from helpingu2save.co.uk said: “ When any new kind of technology is released and gets integrated into the office scenario, there is always a period where people will struggle to get to grips with the new technology because there will be employees of all ages and abilities, but as soon as the whole business is on board with a new format, whatever the process is, it will become more streamline and efficient.”

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