There’s a lot to unpack when you bring on a new employee. Between the information you have to provide, training sessions, and any necessary equipment, there are plenty of boxes to check. However, knowing when to provide technology and what type of tech to provide can make things even more difficult.
For example, you might want to provide your employees with a laptop, but should you also provide monitors or other external items?
We’re living in a time where remote work is becoming the norm. Working from home has been on the rise for years, but it skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are still either working remotely or looking for jobs that will allow them to work from home.
So, what can you do to make sure your employees have everything they need when it comes to effective technology? What should you provide, and when?
Look at Productivity
Technology changes at a rapid pace. While things like software updates and additional training can help your employees to stay on top of those changes, it’s not uncommon for tech devices to become obsolete in just a few years.
You’ll have a better understanding of whether the technology your employees are using is helping or hurting them by taking a look at overall productivity. If your workers are having a hard time completing their jobs with the technology they have, it could be time to invest in something new.
Investing in the latest technology will make it easier for your employees to communicate more efficiently and complete their daily tasks without having to jump through unnecessary hoops or wait for outdated software to keep up with them. You can choose to ask your employees about the tech they use and whether they feel they could be more efficient with newer updates or work with an IT professional to determine the latest and greatest in the tech world, so you’ll always be up-to-date with what your workers need.
Establish a Policy That Works for You
It’s not uncommon for employers to have a “bring your own device” policy, especially when it comes to start-ups. Nowadays, so much can be done from a laptop, that it’s not worth it for a new small business to invest thousands of dollars into bulky in-office computers, or even to purchase laptops for all employees since almost everyone already has their own. The additional benefits of a policy like this include:
- It’s more budget-friendly for your business
- There’s less training involved since employees are familiar with their own devices
- Increased productivity
There can be, however, increased security risks and privacy concerns unless you work with your employees to install security software and train them on best practices for keeping information safe and private. That includes encouraging them to create strong passwords for every work account, using a secure network, and knowing how to spot phishing scams.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to expect your employees to “BYOD.” If the idea of providing multiple computers or other external devices has you feeling overwhelmed, consider establishing this policy and providing whatever resources your workers will need to get the most use out of their existing devices.
What You Should Provide
If most of your employees can get by with their own devices, are there any instances in which you should provide technology for them?
Again, it’s all about establishing what works for you, as a business. However, you have to consider what type of tech is needed for your employees to work effectively. That’s especially true with remote workers who might not have access to the equipment you have available in a traditional office setting. Make sure the same equipment is available to them.
You might not need to provide a lot of external equipment to your remote team, but it’s important to make sure they have the tech tools they need to succeed. That often includes things like:
- Web-based timekeeping services
- Cloud document management
- A web-based phone application and video conferencing application
- Tech support
It shouldn’t be up to your employees (in-house or remote) to spend money on those resources if they’re needed for work. Sending them links to download the applications you use, or giving them account information to certain websites is often all it takes to set them up with the right tools. By providing these items, you’ll also help to ensure your workers are secure as possible, so there’s less of a chance of experiencing a data breach or other cyber crimes.
As you can see, it’s not always necessary to provide tech equipment for employees, unless their work will be hindered without it. However, offering up-to-date software solutions, tech support, and the right tools is necessary to ensure the success of both your remote workers and in-house employees. Stay on top of tech trends, listen to your employees, and you’ll have an easier time determining what’s needed, and when to make upgrades.