Can New Technology Help Eliminate the Productivity Gap?

30/10/2019 |

 

Changing the Productivity Conversation

Conversations about optimizing workplace productivity take place all the time.  What is changing in the conversation are the solutions that leaders are considering . In the past, these solutions often had to do with individual performance (how each team member can operate more efficiently). Today, the conversation has shifted.  It includes thinking about how technology can reduce workloads, improve communication, speed up process and accomplish the same quality more quickly.

 

From completing online learning to automating repetitive tasks, there’s a technology that helps your team solve their struggles. In order to turn your team into an club of productivity ninjas, here are a few ways that technology can bridge the productivity gap and help your organization work more effectively.

Meetings

Nothing is more frustrating than sitting through a poorly-run meeting. Inefficient meetings waste company time and cause confusion They also can have expensive repercussions for businesses. In 2019, disorganized meetings are estimated to have cost businesses nearly $400 billion in the United States alone.

To help your organization better prepare for meetings, considering using a tool like the Outlook scheduling assistant. This technology helps you easily coordinate meeting times by comparing the personal calendars of all those involved. You can create calendars for your meeting rooms to reserve spaces electronically, which eliminates overbooking.

If your team members struggle to familiarize themselves with new pieces of technology, it may also be beneficial to schedule a training course on meeting facilitation skills, many of which include sections on using technology to help meeting organizers make the best use of everyone’s time.

At Think Productive North America we eliminate the need for travel to internal meetings by using video and webinar software. Travel wastes time even if we try to use the journey time to be productive. Modern video and webinar software like Zoom allows multi point conferencing at very low cost. Gone are the days of expensive fixed video links and complicated connection procedures!

Emails

When it comes to the modern workplace no challenge resonates with more people than getting your inbox to zero. How do you tackle a wall of message arriving constantly and interrupting your flow? We seem genetically programmed to want to give immediate responses!  Not only is a full inbox overwhelming ,  it becomes much easier to lose track of important correspondence.

For those with untameable email inboxes, an inexpensive email management service could make all the difference. Because no one tackles their inbox the same way, these tools offer a variety of services to tailor to your personalized workflow.  Some emailing software specializes in organizing and streamlining correspondence—allowing you to prioritize messages and view multiple accounts within a single window. Others include built-in analytics to help you see exactly how you spend your time sending and receiving emails (and how this time could be optimized).

Phone Calls

You may receive fewer phone calls than you do emails, but calls pose their own unique threat to productivity. The rate at which your phone rings tends to fluctuate throughout the day. This can create significant interruptions in work that needs deep concentration. Unlike an email, phone calls often require immediate attention, especially if a customer is on the other end of the line. And if your team isn’t prepared to handle high call volumes, accomplishing any other tasks will seem an impossible feat.

Cloud contact center software is one example of a tool that businesses wield to efficiently handle incoming calls and develop a more organized method for tracking their customers. Leaders can use this technology to help distribute calls among their team, while those on the line with customers can make use of features like interactive voice response and web callback to help them more effectively serve customer needs.

Time Management

Time and Attention management are two skills every executive needs to master. These two qualities come as a pair, so if you don’t have one, it’s really not possible to have the other. Nearly 50% of American adults claim that they don’t have time to accomplish everything that needs to get done. A priority is ensuring that the workforce has the time management skills it needs to better manage its time.

This is not about a longer day, or about squeezing more output into less time. It is about making sure that the team uses its best attention for the top priority tasks. Low value activity should be delegated, eliminated, delayed and discouraged. You may wish to use technology to help your team establish with great clarity which of the tasks you set are the highest priority. Or you can use one a whole range of apps to help you focus your personal productivity on the things that matter. Here are some ideas.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tamara Benhamton is an industry blog writer with a passion for the people and structures that create successful businesses. She is particularly interested in conversations around workplace productivity and employee engagement, as well as the ways that emerging tools help shape more efficient work cultures.

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