We already know that technology is a key component of the modern workplace and that it has revolutionized the way that we do business forever.
From the first commercial computer, fax machines, to Email, the iPhone and, more recently, the Cloud, technology as an enabler for business growth is well documented. It is easy to take from that that business growth equals productivity, but it is slightly more complicated than that.
When it comes to productivity – the output by workers per hour – it can be difficult to distinguish what counts as ‘unproductive’ and what is being done because that is the only way your workforce has approached that particular task.
Technology is a great asset and, if successfully deployed, an excellent tool to help drive business productivity forwards. So how can technology help?
Connect disparate workforces: the most obvious productivity boost and something that we have all become accustomed to. Conference calling, video meetings and Microsoft products like Skype are commonplace today. But beyond that, the option of working offsite is more viable to a larger number of workers, meaning that technology needs to be mobile and remote-friendly to allow these staff access to business information, data and their team.
Stop, collaborate and listen: whether it is working on a presentation in SharePoint together or having multiple team members updating your company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, technology has enabled so much when it comes to collaboration. Throw in the fact that a custom cloud environment can add another layer of security, and technology really can bring down barriers to collaborative working.
Find the pain points that technology can help with: scrutinise your productivity as a business and assess your greatest productivity challenges. Is the problem to do with dispatching orders on time? Does a lot of time get wasted in the sales process? Is there a piece of software that seems to suck up an entire department’s time? Is your internet connection the root of all this human misery? Formulate a plan to proactively upgrade software and hardware on a regular basis – something an IT professional can certainly assist you with.
Consider going virtual: virtualisation is an excellent way of breathing life into older desktop computers by running a virtual office environment on external servers. Not only will this drive down the number of required updates and extend the lifespan of some of your technology, it will also mean that a virtual version of your infrastructure is accessible should your business need to recover from a disaster, so consider the productivity that virtualisation can enable.
Automation is your friend: identify menial or timewasting tasks and automate them. Scheduling social media posts, generating invoices and updating customer databases can all be done by computers, so is there any need for a worker to manually carry out these tasks? Use their brains more, you guessed it, productively and see how you improve.
All of these tools should bolster productivity – but only if they take the job off your hands, rather than replace those tasks with more tasks.
Speaking to a technology expert like us can help your workforce improve productivity and find the solution to problems you are facing. All it takes is knowing where to look.