Exploring modern offices
New technology, approaches increase efficiency, productivity
Employers seek every advantage to attract and retain top employees by enabling them to work more productively, enhance efficiency and integrate employee lifestyles. We reached out to Carl Tourigny, president of Conway Office Solutions, to learn more about how workflow solutions, technology and design have impacted the modern workplace.
Q. How have workflow solutions become modernized in recent years?
Tourigny: “Advances in technology have had a tremendous impact on workflow, but it’s not just technology that is changing. As younger generations join the workforce there is an increased expectation for innovative and efficient productivity solutions.
“The modern office is not just about the physical space where we work anymore, it’s office technology that allows people to work from anywhere, at any time. Organizations need more flexibility than ever in order to successfully collaborate and communicate. The modern office needs to be a place where people and technology work together to increase productivity.
“Over the past few years we have seen organizations focusing on office technology and workflow systems that reduce costs, increase productivity, enhance data security, and improve sustainability efforts. As a result, Conway has cultivated a unique lineup of workflow solutions that can be right-sized for any type of office environment, whether it’s a small business, large corporation, education system, nonprofit organization or local municipality.
“Custom workflow solutions ensure organizations are able to connect their people and their business processes in ways that make sense. For instance, with so much telecommuting and long-distance learning these days, it’s vital to have interactive technology that not only allows people to see and speak to each other but also to share files simply and securely. Multifunction devices now carry a wide range of apps that provide document translation, mobile printing, voice command, digital forms and document archiving. You can even have trees planted in a reforestation project to offset paper usage.”
Q. What is a virtual receptionist and how does it make an office more efficient?
Tourigny: “It’s important to have a reception system that can manage calls and visits in a friendly, professional manner, no matter where you are. A virtual receptionist is the ideal solution for efficiently managing visitor traffic because it eliminates the need to have somebody constantly watching the front door. That leaves you and your staff free to focus on more business-critical tasks.
“Conway offers several virtual receptionist solutions including ALICE and The Receptionist for iPad. These systems greet visitors then provide a variety of options to meet their needs. They connect visitors to the person they need to see via voice or text, manage deliveries, and even keep an activity log. They can also perform visitor screening with security passes.
“A virtual receptionist will enhance visitor experience, improve building safety and ensure you never miss a connection. Between the motion detection and voice notification systems, you can now work from anywhere, without missing anything.”
Q. How and why are productivity levels impacted by office design?
Tourigny: “Office design goes well beyond the aesthetic, because nobody can be productive in a space that lacks functionality. The phrase ‘having the right tools for the job’ comes to mind, and each office environment has specific needs.
“Office productivity suffers for a variety of reasons including outdated equipment, incompatible technologies or software, lack of modern collaboration methods, and workflow systems that developed over time but no longer keep pace with office needs. Our productivity experts conduct a thorough assessment of existing workflows and technology, and then speak to the people directly affected by that workflow. They go room to room, and department to department, creating a workflow blueprint that demonstrates where the inefficiencies are, and then develop a custom solution to increase productivity while reducing costs. Simply put, we provide ‘the right tools for the job.’
“When one of our customers needed to more effectively collaborate across multiple locations, we provided interactive displays, telepresence robots, and multifunction devices with cloud-based productivity apps. We’ve often increased productivity for others by consolidating devices and locating them where shared functions were more readily available to those who needed them. We helped one business clear an entire room of paperwork by introducing a digital archive solution that saved time and space while increasing productivity. Upgrading to a multifunction device allowed a nonprofit organization to save time and money by printing professional quality materials in-house. We’ve even helped organizations increase productivity through managed print services that streamline their entire print fleet and manage all repairs and supplies.
“Workflow optimization with Conway Office Solutions is never a one-size-fits-all solution, but the result is always the same — a more productive work environment and a happier workforce.”