Many companies have gone digital, and it’s made for some pretty impressive increases in productivity. According to a Business Index run by Staples, three out of four workers feel they don’t have the latest technology. A similar survey found that people who used the newest technology felt they increased their productivity by 7 percent.
Finding the optimal configurations for business computers isn’t easy, but if you examine things like hardware, software, security systems, and even Information Technology (IT) workstations, you can find the right combination to increase productivity. First, let’s take a look at how you can configure hardware to increase it.
Towers, monitors, keyboards, mice, and even headsets are vital components to your desktop. Using the right equipment is an easy way to make things much more user-friendly, which leads to easier access for the worker to get more done in less time.
Monitors: The More, The Merrier
Some jobs require just one monitor, but have you ever considered a dual-monitor system for your workstation? If your job requires frequent multitasking and the use of multiple applications, dual monitors can be a lifesaver.
It’s been shown that using two monitors at the same time increases productivity 20-30 percent. That’s an astronomical number when it comes to producing more results. One of the reasons this occurs is because you have an entirely new monitor to open up documents on. It saves you a lot of time and money using this type of setup, and it’s worth the initial investment.
Different jobs will have different uses for the dual monitors, but a lot of it comes down to simply having more room to open up multiple applications at once.
No one likes a slow Graphical User Interface (GUI). It’s even more frustrating when your applications freeze. A sluggish GUI means losing time – especially if it happens multiple times a day.
To alleviate this situation, you need to utilize powerful processors that help mold your workstation into the best business computer in the building. The minimum specifications for processors depend on the software you use and the nature of work done on the machine, so it’s best to research before buying one.
For example, the applications used by accountants, architects, and artists will perform their best-using processors in the three gigahertz (GHz) range. Other jobs may need more or less GHz depending on how powerful the applications are.
Using basic office applications and email doesn’t require a powerful graphics card. But if art, design, or videography are a big part of your business, it’s worth investing in decent ones. Since most software comes with a list of recommended specifications, it’s a good idea to research the apps you’ll use before you buy.
Making sure you have the right software for the work being done is essential. Even your operating system (OS) can make or break productivity. There is no formula for crafting the perfect software, as every company is slightly different. Fortunately, you can tailor the software to your business’s needs.
Operating Systems: What You Need to Know
Implementing an OS that is compatible with the software you want to use is a priority. If it’s compatible, it should run smoothly. It’s also crucial to upgrade your OS so that it’s the most updated version available.
An outdated OS can lead to problems like hackers and other security breaches. And hackers slow down productivity. Finally, consider usability. An OS like Microsoft Windows is more well-known than Linux. Choose something that you know how to use, and it is easy for everyone to understand.
Most businesses need basic software like a messaging system and writing applications. But specialized software that is helpful to the particular work being done can help productivity. For instance, utilizing Photoshop is an excellent idea if your company heavily deals with graphic design.
Downloading Photoshop on a business computer that specifically runs accounting software bogs down the computer with unnecessary baggage. Use your head and select the appropriate software.
Backup and Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is essential for files and data that could be lost otherwise. File recovery software also provides a good backup for accidentally deleted files. Nothing slows down productivity like having to re-do an entire day’s work.
Time Keeping Software
Time tracking software is another option that can have significant benefits for productivity. Knowing who’s working and how much time they’re putting in can help you track their productivity.
Comfortable employees are productive employees. When typical office supplies like chairs don’t do their job correctly, it can halt productivity. This is due to several reasons, including workers feeling like they’re neglected and even physical issues with their backs and spines.
Desk Chairs: Worth the Money
If you have to get up and stretch or walk every ten minutes, odds are not a lot of work is getting done. Focus requires being comfortable enough to devote your attention to the task at hand. The second most common reason Americans visit the doctor’s office is lower back pain. That’s millions of Americans taking time out of their jobs to get their health checked. And, since they’re not at their job, they can’t be productive.
When looking for comfortable office chairs, make sure they’re adjustable. Raising and lowering them is vital since not everyone is the same size. It’s beneficial to have chairs with adjustable backs, as well. Some people are more comfortable when they can lean back. Others have medical conditions and sitting completely upright for too long can become painful. An ergonomic desk chair might seem like a luxury, but it’s more likely to save you money in the long run.
Hardware can be added to desks that allow monitors to be raised and lowered. Keyboard platforms often come with the same benefits. Desks that can be adapted to take the chair out of the equation are becoming more and more popular. They help reduce back pain and increase energy and productivity.
Whether the desks for your computer are for sitting or standing, making them versatile and accommodating for all types of users will help bolster a productive workplace.
A security incident is a quick way to grind things to a halt. Proper security configurations implement the three A’s of security: authentication, authorization, and accounting.
Everyone working in your company needs a way to authenticate themselves before accessing anything. All workstations should require identifying credentials before granting log-ins.
Passwords are also an essential step in the identification process. They create an extra level of security and accountability. Productivity for things like business computers relies on having a safe and secure work environment. Make sure your computers are safe.
Should an employee in marketing be able to use their credentials to access company payroll information? Probably not. The authorization ensures users are only allowed access to areas they need to perform their tasks.
Authorization tools from companies like NextLab also take into consideration time and location. For example, users from an accounting department could be locked out of accessing accounting files after 7 pm. Or, an attempted email login from an unrecognized device could be blocked.
All of this creates an atmosphere for optimal productivity by keeping unauthorized users out of the system.
Network security is crucial for productivity. Malware sneaking onto your computer or a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can throw a wrench into the workflow. Secure firewalls protect your company from many types of attacks, including the ones mentioned above.
Phishing attacks are another avenue for malware to reach your workstation. Since they’re frequently found in emails, implementing a spam filter is an easy way to keep things more secure.
However, things occasionally slip through these filters. This is why it’s essential to educate employees on safety and security in the digital world. Informed users can recognize phishing attempts, even if the email server doesn’t.
Data encryption is the best way to make sure only authorized eyes see such sensitive information. Even the smallest of businesses can benefit from using encryption software. When the only pair of eyes approved to see the information sees it, productivity goes much more smoothly.
Another security blunder to avoid is having information stolen from retired computers. Any equipment that housed personally identifiable information should be disposed of safely going through professional companies that offer services like Certified Equipment Destruction.
IT Support-Friendly Workstations
There’s no way to make sure things run perfectly all the time. If they did, IT professionals would be out of a job. Yet in reality, they work every day to provide solutions to both common and uncommon workplace hitches. Giving them access to the appropriate tools helps increase a company’s productivity.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
VDI is a type of technology that lets users use an OS without having the actual OS on their computer. For example, a thief may break into an office and steal a laptop they think is full of valuable information. However, if the office runs a VDI through all their laptops, the thief is out of luck. There is no information on the laptop itself. It all gets projected from the VDI.
Additionally, a VDI uses a hypervisor to fix multiple IT issues at once. So, instead of the IT technician traveling to nine laptops separately to fix them, they can fix all nine from one centralized location. This means much less productivity is lost during the span of fixing those errors.
Allow IP Blocking
This one can be a touchy topic. Employees might feel like blocking certain websites can create too much of an overbearing environment. And sometimes, it’s hard to decide which websites might be needed for work. Giving the system administrator the ability to block sites is a great strategy that needs implementing. After all, they can track the sites used for work and adjust the blocking accordingly.
Use Ticketing Systems
Part of an IT support personnel’s workstation should include a ticketing system. Answering individual emails or Instant Messages (IMs) can cause a disorganized system for solving IT issues. A ticketing system can streamline the process and increase productivity.
Return on Investment
It might seem like a lot of trouble to implement so much for the sake of productivity. But each solution can prove to be a wise decision. Businesses thrive on productivity. Make sure your business computers are the best and most productive they can be.