Top tips for a better connected office in 2016

Apologies if we’re coming across all nostalgic, but given that 2016 is just days away, we thought now is as good a time as any to reflect on just how far technology has come along since the days of filing cabinets and desk blotters. Throughout the 2000s, workplaces have experienced a huge shift towards increased connectivity, thanks in part to the mass global migration to wireless networking and digital media.

While some early-adopters of wireless networking have implemented such tech for a decade or more, others are yet to integrate wireless devices and connectivity tools into the workplace — meaning they are at a considerable disadvantage to other businesses who have invested in the technology.

Given that the New Year is almost upon us, now’s the ideal time to think about how you can operate and manage a better connected office when January comes around. To help, here are some top tips for a connected workplace in 2016.

Implement Remote Access

When it comes to streamlining day-to-day operations, most business owners will be able to attest to the problems which arise from managing a team based in different locations and time zones. Requiring all members of staff to be present and correct at their workstations by 9am sharp is an out-of-date model — and one that could hamper productivity, increase stress and impair potential networking opportunities.

Make the shift to a remote working strategy, however, and you stand to benefit from increased productivity, streamlined processes and a generally happier working environment. One of our favourite tools for remote staff access is TeamViewer — a free remote access tool that lets you share desktops, transfer files and access conferences no matter where you are. 

Update Your Hardware

While there are a bounty of connectivity tools businesses can use to stay connected in the office (some of which we’ll get on to later in the article), it’s often necessary to invest in new hardware to reap the full benefits of a fully-connected workplace that’s hooked up to a secure wireless network. In recent years, technology vendors have concentrated all their efforts in improving wireless connectivity for the end-user — something which has led to the development of the internet of things.

One of the most beneficial pieces of hardware all businesses should invest in is a wireless printer, which allows the user to send documents to print without a physical wired connection. To demonstrate the value of a wireless printer, we spoke to print experts, TonerGiant, who said:

“Once synced to your secure corporate network, a wireless printer allows remote printer access to all devices connected to the same network — be it a computer, smartphone or tablet. The benefit of this is that staff can send documents to print anywhere, anytime without the need for miles of cable sprawling throughout the office — something which will not only simplify the IT infrastructure, but will improve health and safety in the long and short term.” 

Use Connectivity Tools and Applications 

As touched on above, there are a number of useful connectivity tools businesses can use to stay connected in the workplace. Here, we’ve listed three of these applications and briefly explained how each could serve to help you.

Basecamp: Allowing users to send, receive, annotate and comment on files remotely; Basecamp has become the go-to project management tool for many businesses, particularly those who are client-facing and want to share files with a number of parties on a professional platform. 

Dropbox: As one of the first widely-adopted cloud sharing platforms, Dropbox is an incredibly useful tool that lets you share and store a large volume of files in the cloud — so they can be accessed on any device. 

Trello: From a managerial perspective, Trello grants the user complete control over project management — allowing them to monitor and oversee progress through the use of digital boards and cards.