A lot of people have this idea that businesses are boring and rigid. Once they’ve discovered a particular formula for success, they’ll just keep hammering away at that. And, sure, that has worked for many businesses in the past. There are still some businesses that have launched over the past decade that don’t seem to have failed yet despite doing the same thing over and over. But businesses that are able to work like that are few and far between. Most of the time, you have to remain flexible to succeed in business.
What do we mean by “flexible”? Well, there are two ways you can look at this subject. From within the company, and from the point of view of the marketplace. Today, we’ll be focusing on the things you can to directly affect your workers by using a flexible approach to technology.
The dangers of ever-changing technology
Most companies are heavily invested in particular pieces of technology. Perhaps they’ve got all their business documents kept safe on a particular type of computer or server. Maybe they rely on a single piece of software to perform most, if not all, of their business tasks. But there’s a danger in relying too much on particular technologies.
The fact is that technologies are being made obsolete faster and faster these days. What you use may become incompatible with what your desired clients use. You need to keep a sharp eye on what’s going on in the world of business technology. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
The benefits of ever-changing technology
Of course, you shouldn’t remain flexible in your technological reliance just because of a fear of failure. It’s because new technologies are always producing new opportunities for better products are services. When you invest too heavily in one piece of tech, it leaves you less able to investigate the possibilities of a new piece of tech.
This doesn’t mean that you should start pouring all your resources into every new innovation that appears in your line of work. But you should remain open to the idea.
Making the workplace more remote
A great example of all of this is the rise of cloud computing. Cloud computing hasn’t proven to be short-lived, of course, but many businesses are still refusing to invest in it. It seems to provide too much opportunity for change. That’s because harnessing its full potential would dramatically change how many workplaces operate.
Here’s what I mean. Cloud computing has made it easier than ever to do most jobs from pretty much anywhere. By hosting all the documents and tools you need on a server than can be accessed from laptops and mobiles everywhere? (With the right permissions, of course!) It means that employees no longer have to be at their desk in order to do their job.
But most employers still seem to be uncomfortable with the implications of this. It does, of course, mean that more employees than ever can simply work from home. And working from home still has a certain stigma to it. Many employers assume that work simply cannot be done to a proper standard from home.
So perhaps you don’t want all your workforce working from home. But if you’re flexible enough with your approach to technology, this will come in handy at some point. Let’s look at a prime example.
We’re not supposed to say it, but let’s be honest: a pregnant worker presents a problem, especially to a small business. When a valued employee is pregnant, it means we’re going to have to spend some time without her expertise. But if we harness the power of new software, it doesn’t have to present such a problem.
Maternity leave is used to allow the mother time to prepare for the birth and recover from it. That, and to spend time with her child. This, obviously, leaves her unable to work. Or does it? What many employers forget is that many workers in this position are willing to do the job; they just can’t! But if you have technological measures in place that allow her to spend some time working from home, then you both benefit.
More value, more talent, more satisfaction
When you introduce more flexibility to your business methods, you open yourself up to more talent. More and more people these days are less willing to work away from home. After all, most jobs don’t require them to leave the house these days.
So by engaging in this, you open up the “talent pool” to yourself. But you’ll also increase the morale of the people working for you by being more flexible. This, in turn, reduces absences and employee turnover.