The different types of technology that all offices should have

Whatever your business is, and whether your office is large or small, established or a start-up, there are some technologies that should be included during any office fit out process.

Forty years ago, a computer would be considered a luxury anywhere other than a tech firm, but now it is impossible to imagine a workplace without one on every desk. More and more businesses are abandoning desktop machines for laptops, which have the advantage of making an office space more flexible, as they allow staff to work remotely. Laptops can dock into multiple monitor setups and keyboards for employee comfort and a more efficient working practice.

While many offices are endeavouring to become paperless, a good quality printer is still an essential item for most. These can be combined with a scanner or bought separately. Other devices are becoming increasingly important as well, for example, tablets are no longer just novelty items but are powerful devices for designers and sales teams. With more employers moving to cloud-based storage and applications, a wireless router is essential for keeping all the devices connected without fuss. Having up-to-date computers and a top speed internet connection can make a surprising increase in efficiency; you don't realize how much time is lost to sluggish IT.

As well as tablets, another piece of technology that has gone from being a gadget in your home to becoming a great productivity hack is a voice assistant. If you have an Apple device you have probably already asked Siri for help with directions, or searching e-mails. Now Google and Alexa are getting in on the actAmazon's Alexa is great for playing music and online shopping, but did you know she can use skills from a variety of free and paid for apps to make conference calls, schedule meetings, record & manage expenses and much more! It won’t be long before these voice assistants are a permanent fixture in offices, so get in on the act now.
Telephones have been a part of office life since before living memory, but a modern office's phones are unrecognisable compared to the old rotary dial phones our parents used. As well as mobile phones, modern workplaces can make use of powerful networks of voice over internet phones (VOIP) which use the internet to provide cheap calls, as well as powerful voicemail, call queuing and call routing options. Firms can use VOIP to accept faxes via e-mail, so you can ditch the dusty old fax machine, and pick up faxes and voicemails and even calls wherever you are in the world.

Laptops and VOIP mean that any employee can use any desk, leading to a more economical and efficient use of space. Why pay for desk space that's left empty except for a few days a week? Speaking of desks, an office fit out is always going to include desks and chairs. You might not think of these as being technology, but office furniture has developed over time just like computers and telephones have. Electronic, adjustable desks can be used while sitting or standing and are comfortable whatever the height of the user. Office chairs now come in a range of ergonomic designs which are not only comfortable but also protect the health and posture of employees and reduce time lost to sick days. As well as being functional, your office furniture can say a lot about your business's ethos to both customers and employees. Do you want a traditional, conservative look or something more quirky and modern?

Lighting completes the look of your office and serves an important purpose. Bad lighting makes using a computer screen difficult and can cause eyestrain and headaches. As well as ambient lighting, you may consider individual desk lamps and decorative lighting features during a full office refurbishment. 

More and more offices today have areas for employees to chill out and relax. Employees who can take a break in the office will be more productive and happier. Games consoles, pool tables and massage chairs are now appearing alongside more traditional employee creature comforts like coffee machines and water coolers. Even more traditional firms are embracing start-up culture and letting employees have fun and blow off steam in the office. 

Every office needs are different, but the technology that any office fit out should include is clear - the best computers and internet connection that you can afford, smart voice-assistant technology, a VOIP phone system, furniture and lighting that suits your firm's ethos and entertainment to help employees relax.

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