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It's time to get rid of that aging office equipment
Technology changes quickly, but tech in the office? Not so much. We’re still sending digital copies of paper documents via telephone land lines, photocopying in the age of digital documents, and even driving to the bank to deposit checks.
You really don’t need to do any of that stuff anymore, thanks to the all-in-one computer in your pocket. Smartphones are the new tech paradigm, and they’re fast replacing everything old school. Take the office, for example–here are 10 pieces of tech you may have sitting near you that could be tossed out in favor of your smartphone.
There’s no need to take a trip to the copy machine, haul out that desktop scanner, or run to FedEx anymore: Your smartphone can scan just as well–if not better–than those more time-consuming alternatives.
In fact, there are quite a few scanning apps for Android and iOS that do a great job of capturing documents and saving them as PDFs. Some even perform OCR so you can make edits.
2. Fax machine
Faxing is one of those things that everyone seems to hate, yet it never seems to go away. We keep sending faxes, even though the government officially recognized that digital signatures are legally binding.
It’s time for businesses to ditch the fax machine and go digital. The scanning apps mentioned in the previous slide are perfect for capturing a digital copy of an analog document. Pair that with DocuSign or Adobe Sign and you can get a legal signature on the same document before emailing it off to the recipient.
3. Business phone
Even the business landline is antiquated, and you don’t necessarily need a second phone to get a business line on your mobile device.
Businesses can sign up for accounts that ensure each person who needs a business line gets one, and all without having to pay for a whole new device for each hire.
The age of desktops in the office is practically over, and the age of the laptop as the dominant business machine is heading out too. Phones with large screens and new, more functional styli can replace the laptop in a meeting. Some phones, like the Galaxy S8, can even dock and turn into a workstation.
Business users who don’t need high-performance computers for work may soon not even need a proper computer–just dock a smartphone when you come to work and take it home in the evening.
5. Trips to the bank
Businesses that deal with money often send someone to the bank to make deposits, and even that may be a thing of the past. More transactions are happening without cash, and when checks are involved there’s no need to head to the bank.
Most credit unions and banks have apps, and the vast majority of those apps allow checks to be uploaded via a scanned image. No more midday runs to the bank, waiting in line, and signing checks en masse!
6. Employee schedules
Those of us who’ve been working for longer than a few years have probably participated in the weekly ritual of waiting for the boss to publish the schedule for next week. Crowded around the bulletin board, we make notes of when we have to come in, or maybe leave a sticky note requesting a shift change with a coworker.
The emailed Excel spreadsheet was just a partial upgrade from that old paper system, but thankfully it too is a thing of the past, thanks to apps like When I Work. Suites like this allow managers to create schedules right from their smartphones, publish them to the app for employees to review, and all shift swaps and time off requests are handled from inside the app.
7. Point of sale systems
Art fair attendees and food truck fans know that POS systems are a thing of the past, and many hip, modern businesses have tossed out the cash register in favor of the more advanced tablet or smartphone-based card readers.
Small businesses and larger stores can both take advantage of a revolution in business transactions through card readers like Square, which also offers larger cash register style solutions.
8. Expense tracking
Who hasn’t had to deal with a stack of receipts after a business trip? It’s a real pain, and a single lost slip of paper can mean paying for something out of pocket that should have been covered by your per diem.
Mobile apps can replace the need to hang on to receipts, and depending on which expense tracking system your business uses you may even be able to get a mobile version of it that directly uploads scans of receipts so you don’t have to worry about them. Concur offers a mobile app that connects to its other products, and other apps, like Expensify, integrate with a variety of business accounting platforms.
9. Adding machines
When it comes to holdouts, those who use adding machines are definitely committed to their product of choice, which makes sense. Having a paper trail of numbers to look at is handy, especially for those who do lots of math for a living.
But there are apps that can replace the adding machine–some even have a digital paper trail. Take Adding Machine Universal for iOS, which describes itself as a “true 10-key printing calculator.” It keeps a digital paper trail that can be edited to fix mistakes, something you definitely can’t do on an analog machine.
If that old Casio is something you can’t live without, this app, or one like it, might be just what you need.
10. Bulletin boards
Along with weekly schedule posting, the office bulletin board is home to various bits of information: notes about upcoming events, Girl Scout cookie order forms, volunteer opportunities, etc.
Workplace chat software like Slack is dominating office communications now and could be a simple replacement for the bulletin board. Individual teams can have their own channels, or a channel could be created for all non-work related events (like cookie sales).
All the stuff that took up paper and space can now just take up digital space instead.