Trading in old, malfunctioning technology for new equipment will boost staff morale and productivity. (Bigstock)
Those are all emotions you don’t want to feel when you’re at work. And far too often, those exact emotions are caused not by people, but by machines.
More specifically, outdated equipment that desperately needs to be upgraded can make a job unnecessarily harder for that machine’s user.
While some scenarios involve easy-to-solve problems that your IT department can fix, many times — especially if it’s a recurring issue — the problem is the machine itself.
Everything has an expiration date
One rule to always remember when taking stock of your business equipment is this: Every piece of technology has a shelf life, and at some point it will no longer prove to be useful.
Holding on to machines that don’t do the job they need to do, just to save a few bucks, will backfire on a business eventually. And often, replacing the equipment proves less costly than the downtime and missed opportunities the offending machine causes.
There will be missed deadlines, employees will spend more time on the phone with IT than doing their work, and your bottom line will ultimately suffer.
If you want employees to achieve maximum productivity, keeping equipment updated is an absolute must. Technology is advancing so fast in recent years, the timetable for a machine becoming outdated is even more advanced.
Especially if you work in a competitive industry, being left behind on the technology front can lead to long-term damage, so it’s critical to listen to your employees when they say the machines just don’t make the cut anymore.
Impact on morale
Beyond the bottom line, business owners need to keep employee morale in mind when making decisions about equipment. Put yourself in the staff member’s shoes. If you were to show up to work every day and not be able to do your job properly, and instead spend half your day sorting out technical issues with IT, would you feel positively about the job? Of course not. Quite the opposite, in fact. And eventually that will lead to staff quitting and leaving you in a bind. To avoid excess turnover among staff, employers must make sure they are making necessary technology upgrades to allow that staff to do the work being asked of them.
Deals are available
Cost, of course, is usually the factor at play when equipment is not upgraded. Either the money is not available, has been budgeted for other resources, or a business owner is saving it for a rainy day.
But when push comes to shove, and the equipment must be upgraded, deals often can be found. You can save money by renting equipment instead of buying, and IT consulting firms offer packages that limit the up-front costs and wrap your fees into a monthly bill, similar to how many people purchase their smartphones.
It’s a short-term pain, long-term gain situation, and the gains can far exceed the pain.
In the end, business owners will see the benefit of upgrading outdated equipment — through improved performance from staff, boosted morale, less time wasted talking to and emailing the IT staff … and ultimately in the pocketbook.
Kelly Siegel is CEO of National Technology Management in Bingham Farms. NTM can be reached at 248-658-0829; Siegel can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.