The modern office setting has gone through plenty of noticeable changes as technology innovates the way we do business.

Cubicles have gone down in favor of more open offices, with some workplaces implementing a free desk environment where you can sit anywhere, thanks to the freedom of laptops. While we’ve seen a few changes that have changed how the office looks physically, there’s been even more innovation behind the scenes. These changes are becoming more and more essential to reducing overhead and making businesses more secure.

 

Automating the office. Everything from filing cabinets to the breakroom

 

Automation has evolved from a buzzword to a central component of businesses trying to drive efficiency in the workplace and reduce overhead. New innovations in the cloud and the internet of things (IoT) are allowing offices to automate aspects of their business that weren’t previously considered.

 

IoT is a technology that’s key to automating several areas of the office. IoT is the idea of connecting nearly all devices to the network, allowing you to capture a wealth of data and execute certain functions, effectively becoming a “smart office.” With IoT enabled devices, you can automate the breakroom with just a few simple sensors that can detect things like, how many people are in the breakroom, if the lights are on or if the faucet running. The sensors can determine if the room is empty and will automatically turn off the lights to save power, and in some cases will turn off the faucet if it’s left running too long to save water. There are even devices that can sense the amount of supplies being used such as paper towels or coffee and will automatically order more when they run low.

IoT not only reduces the overhead of having someone manage and restock the breakroom, but it helps businesses save on utilities by delivering live data on usage, so offices can better determine where they can save. Devices like smart light switches, smart thermostats and others can automatically save power and other resources when they’re not being used.

Digital automation is allowing offices to rethink how they do certain administrative duties. Thanks to technology like document management software, offices are automating tasks like data entry, filing paperwork and forwarding it to the right people for approval. Workflow tools like the ones provided by eFileCabinet give businesses the capability to automatically categorize and file large volumes of documents thanks to optical character recognition.

Software that allows you to program workflows allows you to eliminate the middle-man for certain tasks such as determining where a document needs to go, notifying the right person when an unusual invoice comes in and applying a retention policy that destroys a document after being archived for a set amount of time. The man-hours used up on these simple tasks add up, and there are ways to make them much more efficient.

 

Conference Room Tech

 

The conference room doesn’t often receive too many upgrades, but new advances in communication and display technology are allowing businesses to change how they conduct meetings. As businesses grow and spread out with multiple offices and remote workers, the demand for intuitive teleconferencing applications and devices has been steadily increasing. New displays like smart whiteboards are making meetings more interactive, allowing presenters to directly draw on these touchscreen displays, save their notes and send them to all the meeting participants.

 

Multi-factor Access Control

 

An area of technology that businesses are always looking to innovate in is security. We often put locks on our computers as well as our office doors, but outside attackers are getting better at getting inside our systems. Phishing is still the would-be hacker’s tried-and-true method of gaining access to businesses’ networks by obtaining passwords and through deception. Two-factor authentication can prevent these attackers from gaining access even if they get their hands on a password because they require another proof of authentication. The best kind of multi-factor authentication systems requires different forms, most commonly a password and something physical like a keycard. Another form that’s becoming more prevalent is biometric authentication, which is a form of authentication tied to something physical about you, most commonly, a fingerprint scan. Iris scans and facial recognition scanners are also gaining traction.

Applications that give access to highly sensitive business data should have multi-factor authentication for each login. eFileCabinet features a two-factor authentication system that administrators can enable. To log in, users must have their password and a secondary code that’s sent to them via email or through a QR code they must scan with their mobile phone.

Innovations like these enable businesses to evolve how they operate and allow employees to be more efficient. They may require a lot of changes to take place, but your office will be able to reduce overhead, stay on top of security and run regular business processes better than ever. eFileCabinet is one of these tools to help bring your office another step into a brighter future. Consider viewing a free demo to see how eFileCabinet can transform your business for the better.