Budgets are incredibly tight for a lot of companies right now, as even though the economic recovery is improving in the UK and across much of Europe, times are still hard for firms.
Balancing the books is always tricky but the testing economic conditions has forced a lot of organisations to look into new ways to become more efficient and improve their processes.
It does not always have to be a big switch to increase efficiency as sometimes even the smallest changes can prove to have a large impact over a long period of time.
But for businesses that have problems with their finances, knowing where to start can be difficult and many organisations find it overwhelming when budget pressures mean they need to carry out efficiency upgrades to many of their processes.
So what things can companies do in their office environments to become more efficient?
Hot desking is one of the ways a lot of firms have tried to change the way their employees work and this can be a particularly good move for creative businesses.
Although this can be an expensive method in terms of getting going as workers may need to be equipped with laptops, tablets and other new technology, it can be a great way to encourage a more collaborative way of working among your staff.
Another similar option can be to embrace remote working and this is a trend many firms are already getting on board with. Allowing members of staff to pick their own hours and work from their homes rather than the office can help people to achieve a better work-life balance, which in turn can only be good for the company.
However, some firms have turned their back on the remote working trend, with the highest profile of them being Yahoo! One of the first moves Marissa Mayer made when she became chief executive of the company was to stop all staff from working from home, a decision that proved to be controversial due to her having her own creche in her office, while other working parents at the company had no such facility.
One of the biggest changes in the way organisations use technology in the last decade has been through the growth of VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol.
This works by turning a typical internet connection into one that can be used by firms to make phone calls. This is a very affordable method for a lot of companies, especially those struggling with an unwieldy and expensive business communications system.
VoIP is increasingly being adopted by organisations that need to bring down their overheads and although the sector has seen a lot of growth in the last few years, it appears as though there is still plenty of room for further expansion in the future.
However, compatibility is a problem for a lot of firms that want to embrace VoIP and this is one of the top factors currently holding back companies from investing in this technology.
Although hot desking and VoIP can both be great technological changes firms can employ to improve their efficiency, there is another way plenty of companies could see a major difference to their bottom lines without a massive investment.
Printing is an area organisations often do not pay a lot of attention to, even though it can be huge outlay once the cost of the equipment, supplies and energy it takes to run all the printers in the office is added together.
Smart printing services such as managed print services are therefore likely to come further to the fore in the coming months and years as firms become increasingly aware of how they can help to improve efficiency.
OKI’s research shows the average company can cut its print costs by as much as 50 per cent through the use of managed print services, which may be a big difference to how well a business is functioning financially.
Managed print services works by organisations conducting a full and thorough audit of their printing, which then identifies where waste is occurring and recommends where processes need to be upgraded or equipment replaced to boost efficiency.
Many companies are already reaping the rewards of managed print services as they slash print budgets and more businesses are likely to turn to this tactic in the coming years.