Productivity is the name of the game. And while technology can provide any number of benefits, it ultimately has to play a role in increasing your company’s productivity and output. Otherwise, it’s just in the way.
How Technology Drives Business Productivity
We’re living in a world of distractions. Between phones that ding, social media news feeds that continuously populate, the 24/7 online news cycle, Netflix, YouTube, and connected devices, it’s almost hard to get a breath in without being bombarded with some sort of technology distraction. However, we really shouldn’t blame tech. In fact, it’s all about how we use it.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media. In fact, it has some really strong positives, like being able to connect people regardless of location. And connected devices might make us feel like we’re constantly attached to our notifications, but this level of connectivity can often mean the difference between being aware of something important and missing out.
The same is true in the business world. It’s tempting to view some of the different technologies in our space as distractions, when they actually have a lot of value and utility. It’s all about how you use them.
Technology can be a distraction, or it can be a catalyst for greater productivity and output. When used properly, you may experience several benefits.
- Automation and Systemization
The best technology helps automate or systematize complex, time-consuming processes that would otherwise have to be handled manually.
Take HubSpot, for example. It’s a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that also has robust sales and marketing components. The tool can gather and organize customer information inside of a single platform, while also giving the sales team the ability to track and record interactions.
It basically streamlines prospecting and sales so that individual salespeople don’t have to spend hours researching each customer prior to hopping on a call. HubSpot (or really any CRM, for that matter) is basically the brain of a company’s sales and marketing.
While software and apps often attract the most attention, don’t forget about advanced hardware and equipment. Having the right physical technology in place can dramatically improve productivity by automating repetitive tasks that previously required an employee. Mangum Systems, for example, has a variety of systems designed specifically for bulk material handling. This includes storage and unloading, feeding and conveying, bagging and packaging, and end of line packaging and palletizing solutions. Not only do these systems improve accuracy, but they also increase productivity by allowing organizations to better utilize their employees’ skill sets in other areas.
- Improved Communication
Remote work continues to become the standard across many industries. And while this is great from a cost reduction perspective, it does create challenges in terms of communication. Having the right technology is the key to bridging this gap and making remote and hybrid working strategies work for your organization.
Some examples of powerful communication tools include VoIP phone systems, communication platforms (like Slack), video conferencing apps (like Zoom), and even social intranets and cloud storage platforms that make it easy to house files in a singular place.
- Better Time Management
If you were to zoom in and study every one of your employees on an individual level, you’d probably find that one of the biggest issues holding your team back is poor planning and time management. In fact, the average employee wastes 3.1 hours per day managing their email inbox. That amounts to more than 15 hours per week (and a full 20 weeks per year). And that’s just email!
Technology can streamline time management by reducing distractions and giving employees the tools they need to truly focus on what matters. This includes email inbox management solutions, time trackers, and calendar tools.
- Improved Employee Engagement
Did you know that 80 percent of employees say they’d be more willing to put in additional time and effort to complete tasks if their employers were more empathetic and understanding? This is a statistic that most business owners and managers are totally unaware of. Thankfully, technology can be wielded as a powerful tool in this area.
For example, there’s a whole line of employee engagement software and applications available. These tools make it easy to gather feedback, reach out to employees, recognize employees for their accomplishments, and even crowdsource ideas from your team. Something as simple as implementing an employee engagement platform could make individual employees feel better cared for and, as a result, increase their productivity.
Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Tech?
Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out how to get the most out of your technology so that it helps your productivity. Here are several ways to do just that:
- Identify your shortcomings. Begin by identifying areas where you’re not operating at peak performance. Where are you being inefficient? These are the problem areas that should be addressed by technology.
- Think in terms of compatibility. Every company has something called a technology stack. You can think of this stack as a game of Jenga. In order for the stack to be strong, each piece needs to fit in place. If one row of the stack doesn’t fit with the rest of the pieces, it all comes tumbling down. Compatibility is a must. Before introducing any new tool into your business, make sure it plays nicely with the other systems you already have in place.
- Train your team. Never introduce a new piece of hardware or software without first training your team on how to use it. Don’t gloss over this step. Proper training is often the difference between a tool increasing output and a tool holding you back.
- Discontinue unused tools. Don’t hang on to legacy tools that you no longer use. As soon as a tool gets pushed to the side, it should be discontinued and removed from your tech stack. Not only does this eliminate potential distractions, but it also shores up cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Technology isn’t perfect. However, you don’t have to succumb to the dark side of tech. With a little intentional planning, you can actually turn different hardware, software, and tools into valuable assets for your business – assets that boost productivity and turn your company into an even more powerful force within your industry. Now is as good a time as any to shift your view!