What is a modern workplace and how can your business become one?

What is a modern workplace

With dynamic technology constantly being rolled out, the workplace is changing. With the right infrastructure, employees can access meetings, files and colleagues from pretty much anywhere.

As a result, the modern workplace has become a virtual office where employers enable staff with technology to enhance real-time collaboration between colleagues and clients. This level of access and collaboration has a positive effect on productivity, creating a connected and efficient workforce.


Why is a modern workplace important for SMB?


To remain competitive and at the forefront of business, organisations should consider transforming to a modern workplace model. Not transforming puts small business at risk of not evolving with the rest of the business market.

The benefits of a modern workplace include:

  1. Improved staff retention. Modern workplaces leverage software that allows staff to work in a way that best suits them. This creates a positive connection to the company and improves staff retentions.
  2. Unmatched communication. Modern workplace tools such as Microsoft Teams offer unrivalled communication for companies. The real time communication and notification options ensure that work progresses and projects do not get lost amongst email clutter.
  3. Increased productivity. By allowing staff to work flexibly, from an office or remotely, and by using advanced modern workplace tools, businesses can increase their productivity.
  4. Attract high calibre staff. A modern generation want, and expect, a modern workplace, providing one will enable you to attract a higher calibre of applicants for roles.


Whilst the theory behind a modern workplace is quite simple and easy to understand, the process of transforming into one can be a little more complicated.  Introducing new technologies and processes can be met with resistance. To combat this, businesses should ensure they invest in the necessary training and change management.

Migrating to cloud-based technologies needs to be done correctly and by specialists to ensure the business requirements are being catered to. Additionally, employees need to understand and buy into these changes. Adoption of a modern workplace is likely to be much better when employees are provided with the necessary support during the transformation.


Where do you start?


It can be a daunting endeavour but once you have decided to become a modern workplace you must evaluate your current processes and technologies. It is crucial that you understand and refine your processes before trying to identify the best tool to use.

Once your processes are clearly defined then you can begin your transformation. Some tips to guide you in the right direction include:

  • Spend time evaluating your current situations and requirements and also where you expect your business to be in the coming years, what change and growth are you expecting?
  • Do your research and consider the specific needs of your business. With multiple solutions available it is important you take the time to identify the right fit.
  • Plan your implementation and communicate it to your staff. Be transparent about the transformation and provide regular updates to your staff as well as training. Focussing on the benefits of the modern workplace will increase adoption rates.
  • Don’t forget about security. If you are moving data to the Cloud, make sure you understand the options to secure your data and systems.
  • Seek expert support to ensure the transformation is successful.



How can an IT partner help you reach your modern workplace goal?


It is unlikely that your business has existing IT and modern workplace experts inhouse. Specialised IT providers can help transform your business into a modern workplace.

Opt for a partner who has experience assisting businesses similar to yours and with proven success implementing a modern workplace. An IT partner will understand the pitfalls and help make the transformation process run smoothly.

An IT partner will also provide an opportunity for staff to contact experts with any problems or questions ensuring that they do not waste valuable time trying to resolve the issues themselves.


About IT Smart Solutions


IT Smart Solutions have been helping small businesses since 2005 and have built up a reputation in this space. We have a team of engineers with a wealth of experience in transforming small business from traditional offices to dynamic modern workplaces.

Interested in finding out more about how IT Smart Solutions can support your small business? Start by taking our Small Business Modern Workplace assessment  to see how your business IT is performing currently.

Why working with a Managed Service Provider who understands small business IT is crucial

While larger enterprises usually have the resources to employ multiple full-time IT staff, SMEs often don’t have the budget to employ even one full-time person, let alone specialists in areas like security or desktop support. As a result, many SMEs outsource their IT.

But no small business can afford to work with just any Managed Service Provider. It’s vital that SMEs work with a Managed Service Provider that understands small business IT. Small businesses need a Managed Service Provider that knows how to work with a small business budget while at the same time providing a great level of service.


What is a Managed Service provider?


Managed Service providers (MSPs) provide proactive IT support and consultancy. They can help SMEs work out which software and hardware is right for their business, and which features and tools can help make the business more productive. Small business IT support offered by MSPs can also include:

A helpdesk – so that users have someone they can call about any IT issues.

Security advice – how best to back up data and ensure it is secure from malicious threats.

General advice on small business IT – what ISP to use, the type of connection, and how your business might use a VoIP solution for telephony.


Small business IT pain points


In 15 years’ experience providing small business IT support, IT Smart Solutions has identified five major small business IT pain points:

Low budget Sometimes SMEs don’t allow enough budget for fundamental technology and can, for example, end up trying to run a business with cloud solutions on an inappropriate internet link.

One go-to person This is usually the business owner or office manager trying to do all the IT themselves, but not having the expertise to set things up properly.

Limited understanding of options Sometimes business owners or leaders don’t fully understand the differences between the cloud and on-premise solutions available.

No expertise Often staff have no expert help to turn to if they have IT issues.


Strategy is key


With so much choice available in terms of cloud offerings, SMEs need to understand the different options so they can make an informed decision about which software is right for their business. SMEs are a target for cybercrime, so it’s also imperative that they have the right strategy in terms of security to enable them to protect data and reduce downtime.

It’s also important to make the right choices regarding hardware for users and in terms of connectivity to make sure productivity isn’t compromised by slow internet speeds.

Small business IT support from a Managed Service Provider can help SMEs work out their strategy and make the right IT choices for their business.


How improving IT helps SMEs


How can improving IT help an SME run their business more smoothly and service their customers better?

1. Having the right IT solution and investing in the right technologies increases productivity. That’s because employees can get on with their jobs rather than wrestle with computer problems.

2. Having efficient staff and demonstrating appropriate use of modern cloud technologies enables companies to service clients better. It also makes a business look like a modern, forward-thinking organisation.

3. With the right IT, SMEs can benefit from flexibility in a way that larger enterprises can’t. It can be quick to adopt new technologies and change strategy to adapt to a changing environment, whereas larger enterprises often require years of planning and implementation for a change to take place.

The good news is that small business IT support from a Managed Service Provider isn’t expensive. There are options to pay by the hour if a business has relatively low IT needs on a day-to-day basis. Alternatively, as a company grows they can fix their budget for a simple monthly payment per user of as little as $2 or $3 per day.


Work with a provider who understands small business IT


Many MSPs focus on the mid/enterprise share of the market and aren’t always interested in providing small business IT support. So it’s important to work with a provider that understands SMEs and is familiar with the daily challenges and pain points faced by small business owners.

IT Smart Solutions have been helping small businesses since 2005 and have built up a reputation in this space. We have a team of engineers who deal with other small businesses every day and are used to resolving problems quickly. We look after clients from all sectors including accountants, lawyers, fashion, recruitment, engineers, designers, hospitality, software developers etc.


Interested in finding out more about how IT Smart Solutions can support your small business? Start by taking our Small Business Modern Workplace assessment to see how your business IT is performing currently.