Getting Productive: How the Right Tools Create a Team of Star Performers
Have you ever tried to put together an item of flat pack furniture, but you’re missing one of the tools you need? The hardware shop is closed, so you try to make do with what you have. You get there in the end, but it takes until midnight, and you end up frustrated. That is much the same way that staff feel when their laptop, tablet or smartphone isn’t right for the job – but, happily, giving them the right tools can raise motivation and morale.
A New Generation of Workers
The workforce is undergoing drastic change. Access to well-designed technology can be make or break when attracting the best of the digital generation. Unlike predecessors who were willing to ‘make-do and mend’, this new, technically savvy breed of workers were almost born with an iPhone in their hands. They expect devices and applications that enable them to do their jobs very well, from home, the office, or anywhere.
That is not a criticism of the younger generation. They are right. Why waste time, energy and motivation on wrestling with the wrong tools when it is easier and more cost-effective to get it right? Just as making that flat-pack with the wrong screwdriver takes longer and prompts large donations to the swear-jar, so trying to accomplish business tasks becomes inefficient with an aging or poorly matched laptop.
The Changing Role of the Workplace
For previous generations, the office was about the mechanics of work. It housed rooms of typewriters, endless filing cabinets, and a very structured, hierarchical workforce. Management were hidden away on the top floor, and conversations with warehouse staff or clerical workers were rare. Eventually, rooms of servers and gigantic storage libraries encroached as typing pools were consigned to history.
Although barriers blurred, the advent of cloud has ushered in the era of collaboration. A new hire in an entry-level role may not hesitate to share their ideas with the experienced manager of an entirely separate division. Modern workplaces are designed to offer more open collaboration spaces, with the expectation of high-quality wi-fi throughout. They are a meeting place where ideas are exchanged and knowledge is transferred.
New Workplace, Same Old Technology?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that technology needs are changing to fit this new style of workplace. The fundamentals, such as core infrastructure, must be spot-on. Slow application delivery doesn’t fit the ‘everything now’ trend. IT specialists must be prepared to endlessly reinvent the services they offer the business, and creative thinking must match technical skills.
Most of the workforce, of course, don’t care to know what goes on behind the IT scenes – they just want it to work, preferably by yesterday. The IT department delivers outcomes, usually derived from a complex mix of on-premise and cloud technologies. Attempting to also provide the right devices to the right people is a precarious balancing act in many cases, with IT run ragged trying to please users. The users, meanwhile, are likely to feel frustrated when their needs are not fully met. If they can download the app they need on their phone in a few minutes, they cannot comprehend why they would wait for IT to provide a clunky machine that offers a slower, less intuitive version.
Solving the IT Divide
IT resources tend to be scarce, so when they are busy forging a path into the digital economy, it is hard to find time to research and acquire new laptops to replace the old faithfuls that should have been long ago put out to pasture. Those old machines prompt a lot of support calls, though, and can be the cause of user frustration and reduced morale. Nobody gives their best when they feel under-valued, and resentment can build on both sides. The divide between IT and the business grows.
For a growing number of businesses, the answer is to remove device management from the IT equation, and explore the new device management services on offer. These services make device management easier to afford and better designed to fit user needs, while leaving the IT team free to address the higher-level technology tasks that require their attention. Our own device management service is CloudNow.
How Does CloudNow Device Management Work?
Essentially, we designed CloudNow to do exactly what the IT department would like to do – if only they had unlimited time to spare. When a business needs a device, they choose the most suitable option for the required role from the range of HP enterprise-level devices. We pre-load Office 365 and prepare the device, so it is ready to go when it arrives at the user’s desk. If any support is needed, at any time through the machine’s life, the user just calls the skilled staff at our helpdesk. Ongoing device management – things like software updates and security patches – are all a part of the service.
Giving users a device that helps them work more efficiently can reduce the time taken on regular tasks, and helps to enable a better work-life balance. Those who feel their work-life balance is respected are 21% more productive, and if device management can aid morale at the same time as keeping the accountants happy, it is surely a positive approach.
Time to enable a happy, productive workforce with the best-matched devices? Contact our friendly CloudNow team.