If the Home Is Smarter Than Ever, Does That Mean Your Office Is Dumber Than Ever?
Ronald Monte | July 19, 2018
When everyone got around on horse and buggy, the latest and greatest carriage would make an older buggy look outdated. But what about when you throw a car into the mix? Suddenly, the owner of that brand-new buggy feels like they need an upgrade.
And the person with the outdated technology? They are leagues behind.
Isn’t that what your office feels like right now? It’s a place that probably feels like it’s outdated by the standards of a few years ago. Sure, the software and sometimes even some hardware are updated now and again out of necessity. But meanwhile, it feels like everyone’s houses are getting smarter and smarter, and the “Smart Home” is becoming more common due to its heightened affordability and more wide-ranging usefulness.
The smarter these homes become and the better we get at using technology to help us relax, the dumber our offices feel.
And the more the technology at work feels like it’s better at holding us up than pushing us forward.
What Makes an Office “Smart”
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, but there are a few key factors that we identified that would justify the “smart ” title by almost anyone’s standards.
Technology That Actively Supports Productivity
This is number one. Smart Technology delivers the results you want with the least amount of effort or thought. Whether it’s as simple as getting you to the next task or as complex as tackling the task itself, “smart” means that it’s working specifically for you to accomplish more than you would have without it, either because you’re doing it faster or it’s doing it for you. And from saying a name in order to pull up a contact to opening a notification with a nothing more than a glance, these minutes saved can really add up.
As Little Downtime as Possible
When a handful of employees are working remotely, a lot of offices have technology that makes attempting to hold a video conference downright unapproachable. Are we going to spend five minutes waiting for one person to connect just for a different person’s call to drop? And most of us have seen thirty people gathered into a room just to watch the presenter spend thirty minutes trying to connect the computer with the projector. That’s a lot of manpower down the drain due solely to obsolete or unintuitive tech.
The more downtime, the dumber the technology. It’s as simple as that.
Freedom for the Individual Employee to Make Adjustments
Flexibility is crucial, which means the desks throughout a Smart Office would be both easily adjusted and adjusted intuitively. For example, there are advantages and disadvantages to standing or sitting while working, depending on the task. Looking between multiple screens can be better for a person’s eyes as well, and mismatching or single-screen setups can be irritating. Since everyone works differently, having as much control over our own workstations as possible can go a long way.
How Do We Identify What’s Dumb in Our Office?
It’s true that the inadequacies of a technology can be invisible before a revolutionary innovation is introduced. But when it comes to most offices, it feels like it’s the date on the calendar in the outside world…and five years ago at your desk.
So next time you’re sitting in the office, ask yourself…
What’s Physically in Your Way?
There shouldn’t be a more than a couple of cords at the most. There shouldn’t be one mouse that goes to one screen and a touch mousepad that does something on a different screen that’s not even in your line of sight. When you take a moment to identify what’s taking up the most space in order to facilitate a different technology (i.e. a cord that connects the scanner to the monitor), you begin to see areas where multiple things can be combined into one.
When Do You Spend the Most Time Waiting?
Whenever you realize you have enough time to write down, “I’m not working right now because I’m waiting on ______,” write it down. It might be something that can’t be any faster, but more likely it’s something that should be taking half as long or better. The only way to find out is to identify the culprit of the downtime, then research for an alternative (which might tackle all the culprits at once.)
What Could Be Faster?
It sounds the same thing as the question above, but it’s not. Sometimes, you’re actively dealing with something, so you’re not just sitting there waiting. Have you considered how long it takes you to turn your desk into a standing desk and vice versa? What about the five steps it takes before you can start adding something to your calendar?
In a Smart Office, desk adjustments take seconds, adding something to your calendar is as easy as saying it to a virtual assistant, and if activating something can come from a glance, touch, or click, whichever makes the most sense in that moment.
What’s Annoying You?
Taking note of anything that’s annoying you at work isn’t petty. Having mismatching monitors can be distracting. Wishing for more space to work and breathe—while also knowing that upgrading your office would mean you’d need even less space—is an easy way to hurt morale.
And how could they not? They’re frustrating, they divert valuable attention, and they can occupy mental bandwidth that can have some real consequences, both in the long- and short-term.
What Are the Next Steps?
Put simply, what we’ve established is that a Smart Office is as stress-free as possible, while a Dumb Office is one that adds stress to the environment. Further, a Smart Office identifies stressors you didn’t even know existed by eliminating wait times, extra steps, or distracting moments that old technology had yet to address.
Which one do you work in? If it’s a Dumb Office, the Cemtrex SmartDesk may be the answer, a sit/stand, three-screen workstation that’s powered by one cord and controlled by touch, gesture, voice, and mouse. It was designed for office upgrades, and its features are too many to list in this article.
But updating your office doesn’t have to happen tomorrow, just like you don’t necessarily need to start looking into a Smart Home tomorrow. Both are just more accessible than ever.
And once you start trying to figure out how your work tech could be smarter, it won’t be long before, “I want it tomorrow,” becomes, “I needed it yesterday.”