Technology drives most businesses forward more than nearly anything else. Each day, employees of businesses both large and small rely on multiple forms of technology to stay productive, achieve results and reach or surpass their goals.
Ideally, this leads to more success for the entire business. However, that success is threatened whenever technology creates more problems than it solves. When this is the case, productivity suffers. It does not take long for the decrease in productivity to harm the bottom line.
When technology works seamlessly for your business, though, productivity soars. This lifts the bottom line, too.
No matter which situation more closely reflects reality for your business, you can always make technology work better for you. Here is how.
Technology can greatly increase employee productivity – when it is being used as intended and is working properly. A company that has the right technology available for employees will often see better efficiency and productivity. Good technology can also increase a business’s competitive edge.
However, finding technology and tools that will be beneficial to your company or organization is not always a quick or easy process. Business owners and managers in charge of IT need to assess their business’s needs, as well as the needs of employees, and determine how technology can help.
This could look like an investment in additional hardware and equipment (laptops, tablets, smartphones) for employees. Or, it could be an investment in software that helps employees get work done more efficiently or at a higher level of quality.
Those investments come with costs. First, there’s the initial purchase price. But employees must also be trained in order for them to be able to use the new technology correctly. That increases the overall cost as the training will take time.
In the end, the increase in productivity needs to be worth the required cost of the investment.
Sometimes, technology can harm employee productivity. This happens when employees use the many tools they have to do things that are not related to work.
Think about it: How often do you check Facebook, personal emails or watch YouTube videos (no matter how short they may be)? Now consider that it’s more than likely that your employees are dealing with the same distraction. All that time spent using those platforms and apps is time wasted. Productivity plummets quickly when technology is used this way.
One of the downsides to the increased reliance on mobile devices is how easily it is to be distracted by other apps and platforms while trying to get work done. This is why some companies are investing in more time tracking software and apps that can deliver productivity scores and reports, reminding employees to stay focused and on track.
Communication is probably one of the primary ways technology has the ability to increase efficiency and productivity for businesses.
Poor communication causes businesses to lose money – and quickly. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) cites a survey that reported 400 companies with at least 100,000 employees lose an estimated average of $62.4 million per year due to poor communication.
Smaller companies aren’t immune to this issue, either. SHRM cites an article that states businesses of 100 employees lose an average of $420,000 per year due to communication issues.
Technology can help those companies improve communication efficiency and decrease losses. Whether it is messaging tools that improve both internal and external communication, or cloud services that improve collaboration, this is an area all businesses and organizations should invest in.
Redundancy is only good for some businesses. It’s never good when you have more than one employee needlessly working on the same task.
Newer project management tools and software can help employees stay as productive as possible and increase efficiency by showing exactly who is tasked with and/or working on a specific piece of a larger project.
Better project management improves productivity by also keeping people on track to meet deadlines without doing work that others are also doing.
There are so many tools out there available for businesses that want to increase employee productivity and morale by automating certain manual or mundane tasks.
Consider all the tasks that need to be performed day-to-day but don’t require much in the way of problem-solving or critical thinking. Many of these tasks can be outsourced to automated tools that have become more affordable – and smarter – in recent years.
From following up with clients, to personalizing marketing messages in email or on social media, to responding to frequently asked questions via email, to sending estimates or invoices, automation can free up time for employees. This allows them to use their time more efficiently.
You have probably heard that happy employees are better employees. When morale is high, employees often work harder and are able to get more done. Technology offers many ways to make employees happier.
One example is how many of the communication and collaboration software services we have already alluded to allows companies to let their employees choose to work remotely when it makes the most sense. Employees who work away from the office never have to feel out of the loop. This means they can work wherever they feel comfortable, increasing their happiness and productivity.
These same communication and collaboration tools can be used in-office, improving connectivity in often fun and engaging ways among the entire team.
Investing in technology is not an easy or quick process. It takes time to research an individual company’s needs and determine what types of technology will offer better efficiency, communication, collaboration and morale.
Advanced Network Professionals offers consulting to clients who are ready to take this next step for their businesses. Contact us today if you are ready to invest in better technology and increase productivity.