The technology that supports your business is vital to your success. With new ways of working becoming the norm, it has never been more important to consider smarter, faster and more convenient ways of getting the job done. And that means SMEs should embrace new tech for themselves – and their employees, especially when you take into account a Unisys study stating that workers are 600% more likely to consider working elsewhere if the technology they use is outdated. 

Here’s our guide to what gadget and tool upgrades you should be considering to refresh your office tech. 

1. Look for Computer Hardware That Does Double Duty 

If you like the ease and portability of a tablet but still need a desktop computer for longer work sessions, consider a tablet that can be linked to external devices, such as a keyboard and a larger screen. Samsung has tablets that can be connected to monitors for better viewing and a range of tablets, including Lenovo, can have keyboards and/or mice attached to them to create a more substantial, ergonomic setup for extended use, but that can also be easily disconnected for working from anywhere.

What to Try

2. Protect Your Work With an External Hard Drive 

Officeworks has a wide range of external hard drives.

It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of backing up your work. Hard drives are also an efficient way of expanding a computer’s memory capacity and giving staff access to files without the hassle of wires. Hard drives come in all shapes and sizes these days: there are portable options, wireless ones, desktop hard drives and those that are network attached. The choice will come down to how often you back up, how fast you need that data, how much storage you require and how portable you would like your device.

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3. Make Printing and Copying Faster – and Easier

We may live in a digital world, but don’t underestimate the benefits of owning a decent printer. Old printers can use a huge amount of ink, and take forever to dry. For a small office, consider getting a multifunction printer that will handle all your printing, copying, scanning and faxing (yes, faxing!) with ease.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: Let The Geek Guide You: Pick the Best Home or Office Printer

4. Upgrade to a Sharper Computer Monitor

There is a wide range of Officeworks computer monitors.

Feel like it’s time to upgrade your computer monitor? For jobs that involve spending a lot of time looking at a computer screen, it’s worth doing your homework. There’s a huge range available, from simple low-cost models that will suit the average user, up to high-end computer monitors aimed at designers and creatives. 

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5. Block out Distractions With Wireless Headphones 

Noise levels in a busy open-plan office can be intense and, for some tasks, staff need to be able to block out distractions. A simple solution is to provide headphones for employees who need to make calls on the go, listen in on conference calls, transcribe voice recordings, or simply find they concentrate better when listening to music. 

What to Try

SEE ALSO: What Are the Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones?

6. Tighten Your Office Security 

Refresh your office tech with a security camera system.

Has upgrading your small business’ security been a long time coming? While digital security is vital, don’t forget about your physical assets. Installing a camera system to monitor your office out of hours is a fairly simple way to add an extra layer of security. For easier installation, choose a wire-free option.

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7. Protect Technology From Power Outages

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) will keep important electronics running when a power outage occurs, allowing you time to save and “gracefully” shut down. It’s a sensible investment for shops and offices where losing the day’s data is highly inconvenient, and may come in particularly useful for those who work in remote areas or where power supply can be irregular. Look out for models that also protect you against power surges and that can regulate voltage to stabilise the AC signal.

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SEE ALSO: Let the Geek Guide You: Tech Essentials for Your Home Office

8. Boost Your Work Station’s Utility With a USB-C Combo Hub

A USB-C hub is a nifty little device that instantly transforms any work station into a highly efficient hub by allowing multiple connections on a single-port USB-C (or USB Type-C) laptop or tablet. It means you can add things like a hard drive, mouse and keyboard. Choose a model with plenty of ports, and, if possible, a power pass-through USB-C port so you can charge your laptop as well as connect peripherals.

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9. Wirelessly Charge Your Smart Devices

Sick of searching for a cable every time your smartphone needs recharging? Wireless charging allows devices to be charged (over very short distances) without cables; it’s quick, easy and tidy. Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) wireless charging is being built into an ever-growing list of smart devices. 

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10. Invest in Tech That Helps Creatives Flourish

Officeworks Wacom Intuos Medium Bluetooth Black

A graphics pad and stylus is ideal for designing, editing images, retouching and sketching. If you’re in a creative field, this tech upgrade is a valuable tool to help with artistic flow.

What to Try

SEE ALSO: How to Get Used to a Wacom Tablet After Always Using a Mouse

This article was originally published in 2022 and has been updated.