Supporting Tech Trends in the Workplace – Part One: The Tablet
“How can I arrange my office to ensure I’m providing my staff with workstations that acknowledge the need for technology in the modern workplace?” But, more importantly, “Does my face look OK on Skype?”
The office environment is constantly evolving – largely because of the continuous improvements being made to the technology that is available to the modern business.
A common feature of today’s office is the tablet or ‘touch-interface device’ (eg. The iPad). Unlike the conventional desktop computer, this mobile game-changer is handheld by the operator rather than being permanently housed upon his or her desk. This brings up questions of how an employee’s workstation can be adjusted to best adapt to this change;
· Savvy Use of Space – Space is saved on the desk surface itself, meaning that the size of workstations can be reduced and more space can be made for additional, potentially collaborative, workspaces. Again, addressing another change in the office environment; conventional to collaborative.
· Slick Seating – It’s worth considering the way these devices are used and handled when selecting suitable seating. They are normally held in one hand (usually below shoulder height) and operated with the other hand. With this in mind, many employers opt for seats with supportive arms in order to allow this type of device to be utilised comfortably over extended periods of time. Be sure to consider ergonomic seating here, which provides both the comfort and support required.
· Forward-Thinking Furniture – Finally, we are seeing tablets used increasingly for face-to-face communications via internet video applications such as Skype and Facetime.
In terms of adequately replacing both the telephone and computer on many employees’ desks, the tablet is a potential game-changer. However, it also poses an operational quandary; the standard operating position when using a tablet device for a conference call can be awkward at best (ever tried to write or type or even drink whilst on a video conference call?) – and highly unflattering at worst! (We’ve all been there with the ‘under-the-chin angle – not a great look, right?) Savvy furniture suppliers are providing a killer solution to this, however; attaching simple tablet-arms to a worker’s desk allows them to quickly clip their device in place prior to the conference, hold it in place for the duration of the call and keep their hands free in the process. Oh, and that Hollywood close-up angle is a welcome bonus too!
From a 46% increase in revenue over a 12 month period to providing staff with greater access to their work – wherever they are, the advantages of the tablet in the workplace are vast – just be sure to use this advancing technology smartly, combining its benefits with forward-thinking furniture, savvy seating and astute attachments.