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Improve Productivity by Making Your Office Smarter

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“The most recent transformation of the world of work — in response to digitalization—has brought about tangible change. Over recent decades, the use of digital technologies has risen markedly, and there has been a visible shift in the occupations, roles, and skills involving the use of these technologies.”

                         –Deloitte’s Workforce Transformation in the Digital Age report 

In fact, work technologies are increasingly changing the expectations held by employees. Today’s workforce demands flexible workspace designs, as well as advanced technology to keep up with the evolving world of work. And in order to increase productivity, providing an environment that allows every employee to work more productively is essential.

Let’s take a closer look at the best possible tools and technology available to employers and employees:

Consider Group Chats: Not only is effective communication the key to team and organizational success, but miscommunication carries a hefty price tag for organizations. According to a Holmes report, the cost of poor communication can reach $37 billion. And 400 surveyed corporations (with more than 100,000 employees in the U.S. and U.K.) estimated that communication barriers cost the average organization $62 million per year in lost productivity. The same report found that companies with leaders who possess effective communication skills produced a 47 percent higher return to shareholders over a five-year period.

In addition to financials, Forbes recently found that the cost of communication failure could also result in a lack of focus, innovation, morale, and credibility. The bottom line is that group messaging and group chat technology can greatly enhance communication efficiency, as well as work productivity in the work environment. These tools reduce the need for back-and-forth emails among employees and allow important questions to be answered quickly and easily.

Most group messaging applications, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, Signal, Hangouts, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Mattermost, Chatwork, Ryver, Twist, and Fleep, can be accessed from both desktop and mobile devices to keep employees in the loop wherever they are working.

Invest in Collaboration Tools: Nothing beats a productive and collaborative brainstorming session. In the world of remote work and hybrid work, it is critical to have technology that allows employees to come together and discuss ideas and find solutions to various problems regarding their workflows. Employees need to be able to have virtual meetings whether they are in the office, in transit, or working from home with tools, such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet. When organizations successfully adopt collaboration technology into their day-to-day operations, employees end up being more productive and motivated each and every day.

Understand that Manual File Sharing is Ineffective: While sharing files is something that employees do every day, it also happens to be a workplace productivity killer. File-sharing technology, such as Dropbox and Box, is not new, but many of today’s organizations are not using it to their advantage. In addition to saving time, file-sharing tools make it easy for employees to track a document’s review history. And team members can easily identify who made each change and provide clarifications.

Use Project Management to Create Seamless Collaboration: There are many different ways to manage projects—from using an inbox to keep track of tasks, to visualizing work on a whiteboard, or using an old school pen and paper. But when it comes to collaborating on projects with team members, especially when working remotely, you need a flexible project management tool that works for everyone. And that’s where task management apps come into play. These apps can help track projects, collaborate, and keep every team member in the loop in real time. Some popular project management apps include:

-Trello for visually managing projects

-Asana for teams

-ClickUp for customized task views

-Wrike for spreadsheet-like features

-Paymo for freelancers and small agency teams

-Airtable for building a customized project management app

-GoodDay for multiple project management methodologies

-Jira for developers

Support Self-Service: Technology allows organizations to customize self-service platforms, enabling employees to complete certain tasks on their own – instead of burdening others in the office. There is no question that moving to a self-service model will greatly improve the day-to-day efficiency for all employees in the workplace.

Don’t Forget about the Importance of Onboarding: Onboarding is the process of integrating new team members into an organization. Onboarding and orientation differ in that orientation is typically a one-time event, whereas onboarding is a continuous process during every team member’s first year. Having an efficient onboarding process can have long-term benefits, such as stronger team member retention, quicker productivity, and reduced employee anxiety.

There is no question that onboarding is an investment in the success of new hires and the organization. In fact, studies show that 87 percent of team members are less likely to leave a company when they feel engaged. And organizations that invest in onboarding report 54 percent more productivity from new hires.

A cohesive onboarding process is especially vital for remote employees because not only do organizations need to give new hires the information they require to do their jobs, but organizations also must empower employees to think remotely. As a result, remote onboarding should focus on documentation, anticipating the needs of new team members, and continuously improving the process based on employee feedback.

Enhancing workplace productivity should always be a business priority, and thanks to recent technology, organizations can achieve this goal.  There are numerous tools available to help businesses improve productivity and set up automations to make work interesting and enjoyable. It’s up to business owners to invest in productivity technology and incorporate these tools into your business strategy.

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