Questions such as, “How can workers be more effective and productive?” or “How to increase workplace productivity?” continue to dominate the major concerns in the business world.
The answer to these questions has always been provided by technology.
Imagine some twenty or fifty years back; processes done manually were so difficult and time-consuming.
But with the advent of capable technologies in these areas, workers now record better efficiency with automated tasks.
In our fast-paced world, the need for faster, easier, better, and effective ways will continue to be redefined by technology.
Often we get so familiar with the technology that we forget how specific technologies are helping our businesses grow.
This article aims to bring our attention back to the essence of technology in our workplace.
By taking a few steps back to see how technology is impacting our workplace, we can learn how to utilize technology better and appreciate its value more.
How is technology currently impacting the workplace?
Business executives and workers have affirmed that incorporating technology in their duties has reduced the time required to complete tasks drastically.
Also, the ease of executing collaborative tasks is quite commendable with the use of project management software and other related technologies.
Below are some obvious ways in which technology is impacting our workplace.
1. When writing business plans
Writing a business plan seems to be the first use of technology in the workplace for many entrepreneurs.
Traditionally, one needs to get a paper and a pen to give the business idea a tangible form. Now, we have very easy to use Business Plan Software Templates that entrepreneurs can use on their smartphones and computers.
2. When auditing the business
One of the greatest contributors to the growth of the financial services sector is the use of technology in accounting and audit procedures.
A lot of capable software packages are being used by professionals to ease the auditing process and complete financial accounting as soon as technology can allow.
3. When creating employees and customers’ database
Keeping employee and customer records can be very expensive and time-consuming if we go by the old ways of pen and paper.
A simple spreadsheet will give a better and more organized view of workplace records.
When you need to get information at any time, all the spreadsheet requires is a simple word search.
It is quite touching to hear people lose valuable contacts as a result of misplacing their diaries.
An excellent example of technology that automates customer files is salon software.
4. When advertising our products and services
Advertisements have always evolved with technology and will continue to do so.
Businesses are now encouraging workers to place their workplace logos on their social media profiles.
This is an indirect and free method of building brands and creating awareness.
In the final analysis, an employee’s friend who admires the company logo may eventually become a key customer to the company.
5. When working on group projects
In the past, group projects can be quite frustrating as a delay in one person’s job is very likely to cause delays to other people’s work.
With the use of project management apps, every employee involved in a project can easily be assigned tasks and deadlines.
More importantly, the employee can see how his or her work affects the performance of others.
All of these put together will help employees complete tasks faster to finish the projects sooner.
6. When evaluating workplace effectiveness
The use of timesheets is just one way of measuring workers’ effectiveness.
Quite many productivity apps can be used to assess the effectiveness of workers.
Reports from this exercise can help managers determine whether there is a need to place workers on further training to increase efficiency and productivity.
Evaluation results can also be used for reinforcing workers’ performances.
7. When disseminating information in the workplace
Communication is the lifeline of most (if not all) social interactions.
The use of instant messaging platforms can quickly convey crucial information to targeted groups at an appropriate time frame.
Communication is so important, whether the message is official, such as scheduling an emergency meeting with a client or you only want to felicitate with a worker.
Some workplaces are more efficient and productive simply because everyone understands what he or she ought to be doing per work time.
How to use technology to improve workplace productivity?
Having explored the potentials of technology in the workplace, it is normal for business owners to want to incorporate more technological interventions in the workplace.
It is essential to know that introducing a new technology in the workplace can go awry if the process is not properly managed.
Technology, when properly utilized, should bring about efficiency.
On the other hand, when not properly utilized may lead to distraction and a waste of time. Below are some tips to help improve workplace productivity through technology.
1. Identify your needs
This is the first step towards making a good decision to incorporate useful technology in the workplace.
Managers must engage workers in this process. The point is to identify the significant challenge workers face when performing a particular task.
Once the problem is identified, managers can get some technological solutions that might fix or reduce the problem.
A thorough cost to benefit analysis is done to ascertain the potential value such technological intervention might bring into the workplace.
Experts from tech companies and app developers can also give valid opinions on the potentials of using a particular technology. Once one or more promising technologies have been approved for use, the next stage is implementation.
2. Create an enabling environment to implement the technology
New technology may require that managers train workers before they can be able to use them.
The human resource team can schedule a training period for workers so they can get to learn how to maximize the use of technology.
It is also better to also have a support centre where workers can go to if they need help.
Once they can trust the technology to make their work more efficient, they will be more willing to adopt the technology.
3. Get feedback
Once in a few months, it is necessary to get feedback from managers and employees if the implemented technology is living up to expectations.
Insights from the feedback can help managers and business owners review the whole process of implementation should the need arise.
Progress reports from previous successes can also give managers direction as to which other technology to adopt in the workplace.
Key areas to focus on technology to improve workplace productivity
Implementing technological interventions in the areas listed below are more likely to foster workplace productivity.
Automate time tracking
Quite a lot of money is lost to time theft, which is peculiar with using manual time books and sheets. Automating time tracking will keep employees on the right track of punctuality and increase productivity in the long-run. Managers can use time tracking for Trello to determine workers’ productivity and remuneration without arguments.
Use group chats to your advantage
When you need to pass information to a specific group of workers, doing so through group chats is more effective. Judging from comments on the group chat, it is easier for you to know if everyone involved understands you. You can also clarify issues once and for all, instead of attending to individuals via emails. Time saved when communicating can be used for other productive tasks.
Automate file sharing
Use technology to limit, if not eradicate, manual file sharing. With cloud file-sharing technology, workers need not wait long hours for someone to deliver a file. Also, once file sharing is automated, workers can access and work on files on the go.
Improve employee engagement
Research has proven that employees tend to contribute more to their workplace when they feel their opinions are valued within the organization. Automate employee surveys and polls to help workers get the feeling of empathy, and the attendant increased productivity it bolsters.
Setup collaborative tools
If there is a need for more than five workers to complete a project, the use of a collaborative tool is essential. You can take advantage of many free collaborative solutions on Google platforms and applications from other trusted developers. Collaborative tools will keep your team organized and time conscious as they aim at completing the projects assigned to them.
Allow employees the freedom to take care of specific simple tasks on their own without the need for moving from office to office. For instance, an employee can log in to the data bank with his or her access code to retrieve an important file. This is more effective than having all employees pass through an office to gain access to files.
Operate a mobile-friendly workplace
A mobile-friendly workplace should have technologies that enable employees to work remotely. Since workers get the freedom to work at any time and from any place, managers can expect increased productivity as soon as the technology is in place.
To use technology to improve employees’ productivity, we must first identify our needs. We can then check out alternatives that we can employ.
It is important to note that you don’t have to pay heavily to boost productivity.
If you run a small enterprise and have no room to accommodate extra expenses, there are free technological tools you can still use.
As a senior, you can also use the best mobile apps for seniors.
There is virtually no excuse for lack of productivity when we all have technology at our fingertips.
Which technology have you recently adopted in your organisation to increase workplace productivity? Do drop your comments below. We’ll be glad for you to have your say.