When we think about IT, our team’s workstations are not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, they may be one of the most essential components in your IT arsenal. If your team’s workstations are outdated and unhealthy, your business will undoubtedly suffer.

It’s essential to maintain a cycle of preventive maintenance for each of your employee’s workstations. This will allow you to stay technologically relevant and efficient.

Let’s take a look at the three key components to remember when refreshing your team’s workstations.

Cost and efficiency

Ensuring that each aspect of your business is cost effective and efficient is essential for good business performance. However, we often can get caught in the fruitless cycle of trying to save money by not replacing that 5-year-old workstation. This may seem the best choice at the moment, but the reality is that the workstation will break down sooner or later and you will lose time and money having to send out for repair work while putting that worker in a shutdown mode without access to their data and resources.

At LBMC, we recommend maintaining a healthy 3-5 year replacement cycle on workstations. By investing in proactive and regular workstation replacement and refresh, your business will be able to maintain a healthy fleet that will ultimately save you money. For example, that 5-year-old workstation is not equipped to handle the workload of a newer one. As time goes on, all the applications used for work on a daily basis get updated and demand more and more of a computer’s resources. If that computer is not being upgraded to keep up, it will take longer and longer to load and run the applications your workers rely on for their job role. That equates to wasted time for the user and wasted money for the business.

This wasted time adds up. An outdated computer may take a bit longer to start up than it once did. It may have developed little age-related issues leading to minor time-wasting errors. This leads to an average worker making about $16 an hour spending about 15 minutes a day having to deal with those types of issues. Over a 2-year period, that equates to about a $2,000 loss for the business. This calculation does not account for any potentially lost productivity, only the worker’s salary. $2,000 is more than enough for a replacement computer.

Some businesses think that waiting to replace computers until they are starting to have problems, or have completely failed, is a way to get all the value they can out of an expensive piece of hardware. In reality, many times the worker doesn’t have an alternative computer to use, so the business ends up with an employee who can’t do their job until their replacement arrives, which could be several days or weeks! That ultimate cost could be enormous for the business.  

Employee Satisfaction

Showcasing that your business values the time and efforts of each employee is vitally important to the success of your business and of your employees. Maintaining a healthy fleet of workstations not only improves worker efficiency and productivity, but it also improves employee satisfaction. Workers today expect access to the right set of tools for their job. They don’t have time to waste dealing with old equipment that is not functioning properly.

Dealing with IT problems can lead to lost time, lost work, missed deadlines, and other stressors. If your employees are dealing with frustrating IT issues on a regular basis due to old and faulty equipment, it can lead to overall job dissatisfaction. That may be the catalyst that leads them to seek a new employer.

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and keeping quality candidates is more challenging than ever. You must give your team the best tools available to win at their jobs. This shows that you value and appreciate the work they do.

Proactivity vs. Reactivity

Being proactive is sometimes easier said than done. One of the areas in businesses that most often are forgotten or put at the bottom of the preventive maintenance list is the physical aspects of your office and workstations. These essential aspects of computers, phones, printers, and more are often overlooked or only quick fixes are made to try and “save time”. Yet, when we schedule the time to be proactive around our physical IT needs we can save immeasurable time and money for our business.

Maintaining a healthy, proactive refresh cycle is simpler and less disruptive than reactively replacing computers as they fail. Handling workstation replacements in a reactive way requires more involvement from the business leadership and the affected users because a plan has to be formed on the fly each time. It’s always easier to prevent a business issue before it occurs than dealing with the consequences after the fact.

When we think ahead, and work to prevent failures and bolster issues, downtime is avoided and team morale boosted. And, ultimately, our team is reassured of the value of their work when time and effort is preemptively invested in maintenance and improvements. So don’t wait until your workstations become obsolete to refresh them. Take the proactive steps to ensure the quality and efficiency of your business’ work and establish a workstation refreshment plan. Let us help you structure a strategic plan.