Time marches on. Nothing is more accurate and more applicable to people from all walks of life and businesses in all sectors of the marketplace. With this in mind, an office or business needs to be prepared to take on the challenges of the future in order to fully satisfy its vital needs, goals, and objectives.
In order to survive into the future, let alone to thrive, an office or business must strategize, plan, and prepare. Indeed, there are five things your office of business must do in order to be prepared properly for the future.
Promote Workplace Wellness
A great deal of focus on preparing your office for the future necessarily is on technology. However, in order to appropriately, fully prepare your office or workplace for the future, you need to include a focus on promoting workplace wellness. As an aside, this is the case whether you have an office of one or whether you have multiple individuals working together.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that adults in the United States, who work fulltime, spend more than one-third of each day, at least five days a week, ensconced in their respective offices or other workplaces. Because of the extensive amount of time a person spends in the office, or other workplace, attention must be paid to developing and maintaining a healthy work environment.
The reality is that a physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy employee generally is a content and productive employee. In other words, an office wellness program represents a solid investment in preparing an office for the future.
In order for an office to be well prepared for the future, the creation, development, and implementation of suitable programs and policies designed to reduce health risks and enhance the quality of life in the work place is a must.
Developing a meaningful, effective wellness program for an office need not be a complicated endeavor. An office wellness program does not need to be expensive either.
The essential foundation of any office wellness program are XX factors:
- reliable information on developing health workplace habits and routines
- integration of healthy activity within the workday
- appropriate break-related activities
- wellness support
Education is fundamental to crafting, implementing, and following a workplace wellness program. In this regard, you do not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to accessing accurate, understandable, and useful educational materials addressing a healthy work environment. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been proactive in accessing the assistance of health and wellness experts from across the country in developing meaningful educational materials. Other reputable organizations, like the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, have also developed solid libraries of healthy living and workplace wellness resource materials.
As mentioned previously, a workplace wellness program need not be a complicated endeavor. Rather, in preparing an office for the future, simple tactics can be integrated into the overall workday that will demonstrably enhance overall health and wellness in an office. Although this recommendation may seem like old-hat, it is vital Merely stepping up walking in the workplace can have a significant impact on a person’s overall wellness. And, yes, that means taking the steps rather than the elevator whenever possible during the course of the workday.
A special focus on integrating a workplace wellness program into the norms and processes of the workday must have a special focus on when and how breaks are undertaken. A workplace in which individuals sit at desks or other workstations must encourage, if not demand, breaks every 60 to 90 minutes in which workers get out of their chairs, stretch and walk. Research reveals that sitting in a chair at a workstation for prolonged periods of time can have seriously negative health consequences, according to the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, an office worker needs to get up and off the chair approximately every 60 to 90 minutes to stretch, walk, and restore.
Finally, a workplace wellness program needs to be designed to ensure support and encouragement from others. This necessarily includes workers in an office coming together to support one another. If you work in an office of one, there are organizations accessible in both the brick and mortar world and online through which you can garner support and encouragement for your own workplace wellness efforts. These supportive resources are readily accessible through social media platforms, particularly Facebook.
A key tactic you need to employ to prepare for the office of the future is to integrate technology to the fullest extent possible. This means more than just to make sure that you select technologies that work in tandem and interconnect. Technology integration to prepare your office for the future also means a focus on automation as well.
A major component of an appropriately integrated office technology includes the utilization of office automation whenever possible. Typically, this involves the integration of office functions associated with managing information, according to Inc. magazine. The essential activities associated with office automation include the storage of raw data, transfer of date, and the management of electronic business information.
The idea of office automation in reality is nothing new. Years ago, with the advent of internal networks and intranet capabilities, automation became more widely considered, and now more prevalent in office and workplace settings of different types.
An early, and still primary, area in which automation is in regard to integrated office technology is key is in the bookkeeping and financial arena. This is evident in many different types of work environments. For example, point of sale inventory applications present an example of seamless automation from the moment a customer makes a purchase in a retail outlet to real time inventory to back office record keeping and accounting.
When it comes to office automation, it is also obvious in payroll and associated record keeping functions. Through integrated automation in these, and other areas, offices, workplaces, and business of different types are being more effectively and efficiently managed and operated. As competition becomes more fierce over time, these types of integrated, automated technologies are going to prove vital for an office, workplace, or business to remain competitive, for a business enterprise to maintain profitability.
Strategically Network Via Social Media
In recent years, businesses from all sectors of the marketplace have started utilizing social media in ever-increasing numbers. As part of an effort to prepare for the future, your office needs to make the best use of social media. This includes optimizing the use of social media for invaluable networking on behalf of your business.
Networking at this juncture of the 21st century is truly multifaceted. Networking potentially can involve closer interaction with existing customers of clients as well as being a tool to attract new patrons to a business enterprise. Networking can also prove invaluable to attracting the most appropriate vendors as well as accessing a myriad of other types of resources that can prove invaluable to the proper functioning of an office, workplace, or business.
Although face-to-face networking can be important for some business enterprises, social media is becoming the center point for a great deal of networking. As a consequence, in order to prepare your office or business for the future, you must develop a strategic approach to utilizing social media as a networking tool.
There are two primary approaches to strategically networking with social media. First, you need to understand that different approaches exist to optimizing the use of different social media platforms, according to Forbes magazine. The manner in which you utilize Facebook to network differs from the approach necessary at Twitter or Instagram.
Second, you need to coordinate the manner in which you utilize different social media resources as part of a networking effort. Although the individual approaches to using different social media platforms exist, you must develop an overall, comprehensive, coordinated set of goals and objectives. These goals and objectives need to be implemented and realized across whatever social media platforms you elect to utilize to advance your networking efforts.
As an aside, you need to bear in mind that not all social media platforms are a good fit for a particular enterprise. For example, the image orientation of Instagram works well for many business enterprises. However, a business like a mortuary or funeral home might face at least some limitations using Instagram as a primary networking platform.
Create, Craft and Maintain a Vibrant Online Presence
The internet is king, and queen, when it comes to nearly any and all businesses in this day and age. Even an enterprise that really never transacts actual business online must develop a vibrant online presence is it hopes to survive into the future, let alone to become a truly thriving enterprise.
The stark reality is that consumers of all types rely on the internet to find products and services, to identify businesses from all imaginable market segments. In addition, once they find a business online, consumers tend to take their efforts one step further. They seek out what other people are saying about a business.
This reality underscores the need to create, craft and maintain a positive, compelling online presence. This necessitates being proactive with addressing online reputational issues. It also means that an enterprise must strive continually to build and maintain a positive, compelling, vibrant online presence.
Develop a Strong Brand
A major component of preparing an office or business for the future is the development and maintenance of a solid brand identity. A strong brand is crucial no matter the type of business operated. This is the case whether the business is the sole proprietorship involving one individual or an enterprise with a more considerable team and reach.
The traditional manner of defining branding is that it involved the creating and use of a name, the logo, and tag line. While this is true to a point, branding and a brand represents something more significant.
The essence of brand is more than just the creation, implementation and use of these external elements, according to Inc. magazine. A brand is designed to remind a consumer how he or she feels about a particular business and its products or services. Rather than create a lasting feeling from whole cloth, a brand evokes a sort of recollection and reinforces a consumer’s perceptions of a business enterprise.
Building and maintaining a brand, with an eye to preparing for the future, requires coordination and oftentimes even professional assistance. Indeed, the involvement of a professional from beyond a business’s office oftentimes is the surest way to ensure that a brand is built that connects and affirms a consumer’s perceptions about a particular enterprise, according to the American Marketing Association.
In summary, a business enterprise typically can not pick and chose from this list of five elements to truly prepare an office for the future. Rather, these five elements must be pursued in unison, in a coordinated manner.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.