Future-proofing your business is going to be a never-ending task. Technology is conquering the world, and the business landscape is included in that.
Do you still use a ledger for your expense sheets? Likely not. Do you still send written letters to clients? Possibly, but not as often as previously. Do you still hand out flyers to market your business? Probably not. There are many mistakes your company can make, and not acknowledging the digital world is one.
Computers dominate your workplace, not textbooks, right? Right. The internet and digital technology have changed the ways that people conduct business forever. And that’s for the best! There are more ways to complete work and communicate than ever before. Instead of waiting for mail to arrive, messages can be sent and received instantly. Instead of transporting a bag of files around, data can be stored to the cloud and accessed by you from anywhere in the world.
Photo courtesy of Frederico Cintra
The digital age brings a world of possibilities to you, your workplace and your team.
But where do you start?
It’s important to educate your team on the uses of the internet. Get together and brainstorm the possibilities. Work with your team to find solutions to issues and make sure that from the starting line, you’re all ready to work together.
So, getting your team ready? The first thing you need to identify as a leader is the weaknesses. Are members of your team uncomfortable with digital technology? If so, why? It’s imperative that you help your staff become more comfortable with the use of the internet. This will ensure that no-one is left behind as technology develops and your business relies on the increasing developments of the business world.
Training your staff is essential, even if they are fully knowledgeable about the use of technology in the workplace. Your team shouldn’t just be ready for the increasing use of digital tech, but should be ready for their own futures, and you should be the one to offer them guidance with this! Don’t be afraid of talking to your staff about their career development. This shouldn’t revolve around the future of your business, but should take their own aspirations into consideration. Now, this could involve losing them, but you’ll be doing the right thing for all parties involved and it’s a small risk that you should always be willing to take. Boost the skills of your staff with training courses from someone like Simplilearn and you’ll capture the benefits of the future, today. Get the best out of the digital skills of your staff and boost them when the opportunity arises. This means that you may be able to promote more often from within when vacancies arise, and that’s never not a good thing for your business and its future.
With technology and developments come risks. If your staff aren’t educated about the dangers of the internet, then a wayward download could cause disaster. Secure yourself with a good IT support team and regular system scans with decent anti-virus software and you’ll save yourself from catastrophe. Unleashing an uneducated team onto the internet could spell serious problems for your business.
What’s your workplace communication like right now? Do you all shout at each other from badly laid out desks? It’s time to change that and move away from messy, lengthy email chains that get your team nowhere. Start to utilize software like Slack and Basecamp to get the best out of your team. Both these applications offer a mobile solution to problems that workplace communication presents. You can attach files and minimize the amount of software that your workforce uses to avoid additional confusion.The advantages of this are usually overlooked and having one single platform for multiple, yet linked, subject matter is an an incredible method of increasing the productivity of your workforce. Regarding Basecamp alone, the campfire app within allows you to communicate instantly and in-real time and link to work. This cuts some steps out the process and allows your workflow to be centralized. No more messy communication methods, it’s time to clean up and get everyone moving in the same direction. Slack and Basecamp offer mobile apps, but there are multiple ways to connect when you’re not in the workplace. Whatsapp and Skype enable you to constantly be a presence, no matter where you are, and if your employees need you, they will be able to get hold of you.
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The cloud is also something that can give your team a boost. Uploading your files to the remote storage solutions offered by Google and Dropbox can give your team so many options. Not only can your data be stored and accessed anywhere in the world that has an internet connection, you can collaborate on your documents with your staff simultaneously. There’s no need anymore for emails with amendments to be fired back and forth. Cloud storage is also a great option for backing up your valuable data.
The benefits of owning a business in the 21st century are fantastic. There are more ways to complete work than ever, there are more ways to collaborate and communicate than ever before. The digital age offers choice and freedom to your business and staff and the cloud allows you to run your business from anywhere in the entire world and even if you want to stay put, you can be totally flexible and mobile thanks to the options presented by the digital age. Answers exist all around for your problems, you only need to search for them.
Just make sure your team are ready for your leap into technology. It’s very easy to allow your staff to become left behind by your own rapid advances. Make sure you schedule time to speak to everyone on your time and take on their advice and concerns. Give them the chance to develop and encourage them to become the best employees they can be, but not just for the sake of your business. Allow them to educate themselves, but don’t be afraid to lead the way. Get your team ready for the digital practices of your business and you’ll have little to regret.