February 2005

Technology Does Not Have To Be High Tech
The Big Three To Make Life Easier

When running a business, you are always looking for ways to save money and get more time out of the day. This usually means big changes with high stress and lots of new things to learn. It’s tough work bringing technology into your business operations, and even if the payback is there, it can be very challenging. But, there is high tech that you can bring into your business that gives immediate benefit. It is in areas that you usually take for granted, i.e., it has always been that way. So what is the “big three”? The desk, chair and phone (and you thought I would say a truck, power tool and PDA).

Yes, your office is also a work place. You spend eight to ten hours a day in the office. And the productivity can strongly limit your business. If you do not answer the phone or take too long taking care of inquiries, your business stops growing. All work starts in the office by taking the orders and ends in the office by billing the customer. Yes, it counts!

How can technology help the office productivity? By using the right combination of desk, chair and phone, it can make a big difference. Chairs now come with adjustable back, arm and positioning supports. That is so they can be used with a desk that has a pull-out keyboard drawer that is large enough to hold a keyboard and a mouse. With the correct chair that has adjustable arm supports, a person can sit and have support at the arms and still reach the keyboard and mouse. These features avoid lots of issues like frequent breaks to stretch because you feel so stiff. With the right desk and chair combination, you can avoid serious back, shoulder and hand pain that you though was due to old age, and not the 1940’s desk and chair you have been using.

That’s two, what about the phone? Is it still corded? Does it come with a headset so you do not have to cradle the phone on your shoulder? Are the phones only at the desks? Might a phone in hallway, garage or at the rear entrance be productive? Think about all the time you have to walk to the phone and multiply that 3 minutes a day by 220 days a year and you are looking at 11 hours at a loaded rate of $20 per hour or $220 per year for 1 person, looking for a phone, ouch!

So what will it cost to change out the big three? A chairs runs about $175, a desk $275 and a phone/headset about $150 for a total of $600. A lot of money? If you keep it for three years and do it over again that is $200 dollars a year. If you do not have to look for a phone, at the end of the year you are ahead $20. And that does not include any other office improvements in productivity, like actually answering the phone, getting the computer work done, or minimizing loss days do to sickness, i.e. back pain.


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