5 Simple Technology Solutions to Help Ensure Your Workplace Gets the Biggest Bang for its Buck

knob switching from problems to solutionsWe know that technology should help us perform more efficiently. But, how often do you wait until a hardware or software failure forces you to reevaluate the right tools for you and your business? Do you know the financial and well-being repercussions of waiting until it’s too late?

Consider implementing the following five technology solutions now to keep you and your business operating safely and efficiently.

1. Upgrade to an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse. A ‘what’ keyboard and mouse? You heard that right! Ergonomic keyboards and mice are designed to provide optimum comfort, reduce muscle strain and avoid injury while you work. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, musculoskeletal injuries from poor workplace ergonomics result in 34 percent of all work absences related to workday injuries. Forty-two percent of carpal tunnel cases result in more than 30 days away from work.

Standard keyboards and mice that come with a new computer are designed to be inexpensive and generally fit everyone, but employees that spend most of their time on a computer would benefit from an ergonomic upgrade. If you plan ahead, you can increase your employee’s productivity and morale by improving their working environment. The newer ergonomic hardware styles usually provide less wrist and hand strain, which in turn permit for longer periods between breaks. In fact, office ergonomics can increase your productivity by 11% on average (OSHA).

2. Replace Monitors Older than Three Years. Physical size, display resolution, brightness and clarity have all improved and can lead to less eye strain and fatigue. However, the common trend is to replace monitors only when they break or when someone new is hired. According to “Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps for Relief,” eye strain and other visual symptoms occur in 50 to 90 percent of computer users. Therefore, plan to replace any monitors older than three years to ensure your hardware enables you to work at your peak efficiency. As an added benefit the new monitors will draw less electricity saving you $25, $50, or even $100 or more, while generating less heat and reducing your cooling costs. While $50 doesn’t sound like much, would you throw out a $50 bill?

3. Standardize Printers and Copiers. Printing devices serve a valuable purpose for every organization, whether it is a small desktop printer or a large multifunction copier, printer, scanner combination. If you have several desktop printers, look at how much your consumables cost you. Your bill may indicate that it’s time to upgrade and standardize your printing devices. If you can standardize on a specific make and model, you can reduce the number of toner or ink options your IT team must purchase. Standardized devices not only help control consumable costs, but will also make it easier for your IT team to manage and support. According to Smart Business’ article, “How to Cut Waste by Standardizing Your Printer Fleet and Supplies”:

“Office printing consumes about 1 to 3 percent a company’s annual revenue. The average employee spends anywhere from $1,000 a year to up to $10,000 on document output. For every dollar you spend printing, it involves another $9 to manage it. And 23 percent of help desk calls are printer related.”

4. Exchange Your Large Multi-Function Print and Scan Device with a Smaller Option. Review the maintenance records and failure logs. Are your devices showing excessive failures and service disruptions? Service failures may indicate the mechanics are worn out and in need of replacement. While leased devices are usually covered by a support agreement, when not operating properly they still disrupt your business operations which cost you money in lost productivity. Talk with your leasing company to see if you can exchange your current device for a lower cost, less maintenance-intensive device.

5. Purchase a Volume License for Your Business’ Software. As computers are replaced or repaired, different software product versions are often installed which results in a myriad of compatibility problems causing your employees time. Employees often find they need assistance with converting files to a compatible version or dealing with a formatting or style change caused by various software versions.

According to International Data Corporation, businesses can reduce their time and costs by approximately two-thirds when a business purchases software at once as opposed to in individual increments. This adds up to approximately $29 per employee in annual savings. Furthermore, multiple versions of software can increase compatibility and compliance costs from 30 to 40 percent, adding to desktop management overhead costs by 17 percent. Therefore, to eliminate compatibility problems and reduce your business’ costs, consider buying a volume license for the software your employees use each day so everyone operates under a standardized version. Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Adobe Acrobat are examples of common software applications employees use daily in the workplace.

Take Note: When you have a volume license for the latest software version, you can often choose to standardize on a slightly older version to maintain compatibility and interoperability with other software packages.

See if you can implement these technology solutions and start reaping the benefits today!