Improving productivity across your workplace is an ongoing area of concern. You want to be sure that your employees are accomplishing as much as possible throughout their days--both as it relates to their actual job tasks and in ways that will allow them to offer innovative new strategies, processes, and advancements to your company and your industry. With the advancements in technology, you have unprecedented access to a wide range of options that will help you improve the productivity in your workplace but in order to accomplish those goals, you must understand how to use that technology as effectively as possible.
Workplace Productivity: Important StatisticsMaintaining productivity in the workplace starts with understanding what employees need in order to be successful. Consider:
- 57% of employees who report high levels of stress at work also report that they are disengaged and performing below peak productivity
- Overloading employees with more work than they are able to accomplish in their usual work week will decrease their productivity by as much as 68%.
- Employees who are engaged at work take approximately a third as many sick days as employees who do not feel high levels of engagement in the workplace.
- The average employee is only productive at work for around three hours per day. Other time in the office is spent accomplishing a wide range of tasks, from chatting with coworkers and making coffee or tea to browsing social media or checking out news websites.
- Working off-site 60-80% of the time can help create a substantial boost in productivity: employees who are able to work remotely are more likely to be able to find those key performance boosts.
Using Technology to Boost ProductivityOnce you have an idea of what your workers are allowed to accomplish each day when compared to the average, you can start using the technology that you already have available in your office to help boost their productivity and increase the amount that they are able to accomplish each day. These five key strategies will use your workplace technology to increase engagement, improve efficiency, and make it easier for employees to accomplish their daily goals.
Strategy #1: Choose the Right Technology
When you're using technology to boost your overall productivity, you want to be sure that you're using the technology that's right for your business. Before adopting a new form of technology, ask yourself these key questions.
Does this technology offer a benefit that you don't already have in the office? Consider security benefits as well as what the technology can accomplish for your workers.
Does this app, service, or device meet specific needs within your organisation? Carefully evaluate the real productivity needs of your business. Where are your employees falling short? Where do they fail to meet their goals? When you're able to clearly define the specific needs of your office, you'll be able to do a better job of selecting technology that is able to solve those problems.
Does this technology fit well with the existing processes within your office? New technology is great, but it's more effective when it integrates with your existing processes. You might, for example, make sure that a new app works with the devices used within your office. It can also be more realistic to use a tool that integrates with your existing processes, rather than standing alone: for example, a new tool that can be placed in an existing app, rather than using an entirely new platform.
Is there a more efficient way to accomplish the same task as the technology you're considering? In some cases, you may find that technology stands in the way of your ability to accomplish a needed task or slows down the processes that you're already using.
Strategy #2: Choose Clear Communication Software
Today's employees are working from anywhere and everywhere. Some of them are connecting to the office from remote work sites; others are using their laptops and other devices to work from home. In order to maintain high levels of productivity, it's important to encourage communication between employees no matter where they're located. Make sure your communications software fits these key needs as you consider which one will work best for your company.
Will the communication software you've chosen handle all of your company communications? You want a software that has multiple platforms: voice, video, text, and file sharing. By using a platform that integrates all of them, you'll be able to keep communications in one place, making it easy for remote employees to check in and keep up with what's going on.
Does this communication software offer individual communication options as well as group communications? For example, do you have to text messaging options when you're in the middle of a meeting? Can you directly message a specific coworker as needed?
Can your communication software offer additional features? Tetra, for example, uses AI to take notes during your phone calls and meetings, leaving you free to focus on the task at hand.
Are you able to control what specific individuals see? Slack, for example, offers the ability to open several different rooms, then control access based on communication. This allows for private meetings while still leaving information open to freelancers, contractors, employees from different departments, and more.
Strategy #3: Track Time Spent at Work
As an employer, you don't want to track every moment of your employees' day. Still, using technology for time tracking purposes can help you better understand how time is actually being used throughout the work day as well as shaping what your employees are expected to accomplish each day. Time-tracking software can decrease procrastination. Depending on the software you're using, that software may track overall worker productivity, team productivity, or individual time spent on various tasks or on specific websites throughout the day. A careful look at how employees are actually spending their day can also help you avoid key time sucks throughout the day, including surprising technology-based time wasters. Look at how these elements can be refined in order to create more effective productivity throughout the office.
Instant messaging software: Are employees spending more time messaging one another than they are accomplishing tasks? Does instant messaging help get things done, or does it leave them struggling to complete daily tasks? Understanding how socialization cuts into productivity can help shape your work day more effectively.
Meetings: 42% of office workers believe that meetings actually cut into their overall productivity. How much time are meetings taking out of your work week? Is there a better way to shape meeting times in order to increase productivity?
Internet and social media browsing: Around 64% of workers admit to using the internet for personal use during company time. Knowing how to decrease lost time as a result of internet use can help transform your employees' productivity.
Strategy #4: Use Effective Task Management Software
Task management software can transform what your employees are able to accomplish over the course of the business day by bringing all the information they need together in one key location. Project or task management software can help accomplish a number of key features that make it well worth adding to your office.
Keep all your documents synced. No matter who is working on the document--or how many people that might be--the latest version will always be easy for everyone to access.
Make sure that documents aren't lost. A laptop crash can be catastrophic when it contains the only copy of key documents. When they're stored in your cloud-based programs, on the other hand, you won't need to worry that important documents will disappear when you need them most.
Keep everything in one place. The key benefit of task management software is that it keeps everything together, in one easily accessible location. Rather than having to shuffle through multiple different programs and platforms, employees are able to quickly and easily access everything they need.
Strategy #5: Monitor Progression Toward Goals
There's something about watching graphics or numbers move steadily toward a goal that helps increase productivity for many individuals. Thanks to the latest technology, you're able to monitor the progress toward those goals in real time. By measuring the progress your employees are making towards their goals, you will be able to:
See who is maintaining the highest levels of productivity. Which employees are meeting their goals quickly? Which ones are struggling to meet their goals?
Get regular reports on progress. Often, you can keep track of progress in real time, rather than having to wait for updates.
Know immediately whether or not your deadlines are still effective. Remember, too-tight deadlines can actually decrease productivity since employees who are in high-stress situations will actually be less productive.
Show employees what they've accomplished--and what they still have to go. Regular reminders and a visual ability to track that progress are highly effective tools for guiding employees toward their productivity goals.
Increasing employee productivity in your workplace starts with having the right technology--to learn more about how automation will affect the workplace and how to leverage that, download our eBook!