How You Can Incorporate Tech to Improve Productivity at Work
Technology is forever changing the workplace. Some technology can disrupt entire industries and leave businesses behind when they’re unable to adapt, while others are easily incorporated into the office, such as billing and invoicing apps for the accounting department.
However, technology doesn’t always mean an increase in productivity. For some office workers, the introduction of office computers just meant idly staring at a computer screen, rather than idly staring at the clock. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, because technology really can significantly increase work productivity when utilized properly.
In this article, we’re going to highlight several areas where technology can improve productivity at work.
Asynchronous meetings are a real time-saver
Synchronous video calls or company meetings, where entire teams are required to listen to a video call or live presentations with little input, can be a real hassle to organize, as well as a drain on company productivity.
Asynchronous meetings are much more viable today, by using the best daily standup tools. You simply need to have your speakers pre-record their video messages, and then your intended audience can watch in their ideal time, as well as contribute comments to the discussion if there is one.
Asynchronous meetings are perfect for prepping before a synchronized brainstorm session, or presenting information to workers that don’t have time for scheduled meetings.
Time tracking software keeps productive if used properly
There are two approaches to time tracking software, and it depends on your company culture. Some use it to make sure their employees are always on task, counting every minute the employee spends working.
That approach can be a bit Orwellian, and may even encourage employees to find ways of “tricking” the time tracking software, like automated mouse and keyboard movements to simulate productivity.
A good approach to time tracking software is to make sure employees have appropriate breaks, or encourage productivity hack methods such as the Pomodoro technique. Studies show that an unhealthy “work hard all the time” mindset actually decreases productivity, and that regular breaks can improve employee morale and job satisfaction.
Here are some interesting survey results from Tork:
- Nearly 20% of North American workers worry their bosses won’t think they are hardworking if they take regular lunch breaks, while 13% worry their co-workers will judge them.
- 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break.
- 22% of North American bosses say that employees who take a regular lunch break are less hardworking.
Team communication platforms
In a survey of 400 companies with around 100,000 employees each, David Grossman revealed that companies lose around $62.4 million per year due to poor communication. In a smaller study, Debra Hamilton found that small companies of around 100 employees can also lose up to $420,000 per year from miscommunication.
Miscommunication can range from things like slow email follow-ups, poorly given or understood directions, to information being passed down a chain-of-command. Group chat and teamwork platforms have done an excellent job of addressing these issues, like Slack, Fleep, and Flock.
Employees and project managers are able to communicate instantly, which minimizes time spent on emails. It also means that teams can be alerted to urgent tasks, or needing to switch priorities. Even for a team of freelancers, assignments can be given directly in the team chat to whoever is freely available, rather than waiting for email responses on availability.
Project management done flawlessly
While some think project management is an easy job, wherein the PM simply sits around and waits to approve other people’s work, there’s a lot more involved.
A good PM has to delicately balance assigning tasks to the right people for the job, or finding new people if necessary, as well as making sure people are on task and sticking to schedule, and communicating with the hierarchy or clients. It can feel rather a bit like herding sheep at times.
Project management platforms like Wrike, Trello, Podio, and many others make it all a bit easier. Some project management platforms follow more of a “whiteboard” approach with task cards and labels, while others are much deeper and complex, with built-in invoicing tools and other extra features.
PM software enables a company to seamlessly streamline projects from start to finish, giving everyone involved the necessary information at a glance, such as who is working on what, when to expect delivery, issues to be resolved, etc.