Most professional spend at least eight hours a day working in an office. A decent office can make a big difference in their quality of life. It can also make or break a business.
Have you ever stopped to think what your office would've looked like if you were born 50 years ago? Technology has changed the modern workplace in drastic ways. Smart offices are designed to bolster productivity, improve employee morale and reduce the costs of human error.
Benefits of Smart Offices for StartupsHere are a few reasons startups are using virtual office systems to cut costs, improve security and reduce employee stress.
Better Scheduling Tools
Recent surveys have shown that 42% of employees suffer from chronic work related stress. Stress is particularly high in startups, because employees have to juggle multiple responsibilities. Their jobs are even more stressful if they don't manage their time effectively.
Since startup employees have numerous responsibilities, they often have trouble meeting deadlines and prioritizing tasks. Smart offices are equipped with numerous tools to help them stay on track. A variety of new tools allow employees to keep track of deadlines and monitor their progress.
Planday is a unique scheduling tool that is available for all mobile and desktop platforms. There are similar tools that are available on the cloud, such as Google Calender, Zoomshift and ABC Roster. These tools make it easier to manage employee deadlines, regardless whether they are in your office or working overseas.
These tools remind them when they have a deadline. They also allow employees to archive old tasks, so they can plan their future schedules more accurately.
Poor communication is one of the leading causes of employee error. People often make mistakes because they are given ambiguous instructions or are afraid to contact their supervisor for clarification.
Smart offices have a variety of wireless and GUI based tools to facilitate communication. Sadeque Reza Khan, a lead researcher of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for the National Institute of Technology, recently coauthored a paper on the future of smart office communication technology. Khan claims that smart offices have already significantly improved communication, but they can improve even further. In the next few years, he believes smart offices will be able to use GUI technology to communicate without an Internet connection.
In addition to streamlining communication, these tools let organizations keep digital records of communications. Skype, Gmail and most other SaaS communication tools can keep records for years. This is important for reducing errors, addressing compliance requirements and running audits to minimize human errors.
Remote Working Opportunities
The average person has to drive at least an hour to and from work every day. By the time they clock in, many workers already feel fatigued.
Advances in wireless technology let workers aluminate their daily commute. They can access almost all of their company resources through a VPN. They can also connect with their coworkers through Skype, Slack, BaseCamp and other project management tools.
Simpler and More Secure Payment Processing
Billing is one of the most annoying aspects of running a business. Business owners have better things to do than cut checks and process invoices all day.
Fortunately, there are a number of great tools that allow you to address billing issues as they come up. Many businesses use digital payment processors, such as Paypal, Stripe, Google Wallet and BrainTree. These tools allow them to make and receive payments with the click of a button, so they don't have to take time writing and mailing checks.
These tools also drastically reduce the risk of fraud. Checks can be stolen and signatures can be forged. Fortunately, most electronic payment processing tools have at least 1024-bit SSL certificates, so they are extremely secure.