Technology is integrated into every part of the workplace, including desktop computers, tablets, mobile and landline phones and laptop computers. It also includes different software, such as applicant tracking systems, networking, inventory control, accounting and other software programs.
In today’s computer-driven world, it’s impossible for a business to function without utilizing some form of technology, so here are some tips to optimize its use in the office.
How to Use Technology to Improve Productivity
Can technology improve productivity among workers? The short answer is yes. Here’s how:
- Identify the best technology. Finding the right types of technology to use at your business and with employees is key. There are many different tools out there. Make a list of your business practices and come up with a list that is beneficial and useful to your company.
- Use a calendar app. One of the most effective ways to improve productivity is to use a calendar app to keep track of meetings, phone calls and other important work-related events. This helps employees manage and track their time.
- Implement communication software. Whether your employees are spread out across the globe or work collectively in one building, easy-to-use communication tools are key to keep things running smoothly. Apps like Google Hangouts and Slack are simple platforms for employees to share and send instant messages, files, video, photos and other items.
- Task-management software. Asana, Basecamp and Wrike allow managers to upload and assign specific tasks with deadlines. This helps employees stay on target when completing an assignment and planning for what comes next.
- Tablets and laptops. These company-provided technological devices help employees work while they are traveling or away from the office.
- Keep track of time. Use software that logs an employee’s hours. Review the logs every so often to see how employees are spending their time and if there are any ways to speed up or improve the workflow.
How to Use Technology for Efficient Communication
Technology keeps employees connected with one another, as well as with clients. Using technology is a fast and efficient way to relay information and share important files in the blink of an eye. When it comes to the office, there are several ways that technology can be used for effective communication:
- Email. Electronic messages are one of the most common ways for people in the workplace to communicate. Typically, each employee has a company email address he or she can send work-related emails on. Email can be used to send files, schedule meetings, ask questions and distribute information.
- Text messaging. Personal cell phones should be a last resort for office communication. Avoid texting or calling colleagues on their personal devices after office hours, except in emergency situations. Work cell phones may be issued to certain employees for professional communications such as emails, sharing photos and video and taking client phone calls. This helps employees maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Video calls. Face-to-face communication is the most effective way to share ideas and work through assignments. When that is not available, a video conference on Skype or FaceTime is the second-best option.
- Cloud services. Google Drive and iCloud are all servers that allow employees to collaborate in real-time. Employees can edit and upload documents, and easily track changes under a collaborator’s specific username.
- Internal communications. Many companies have an internal communications hub where employees can reference human resource and business practice files, access the latest company news and share information about different departments. It’s a one-stop-shop for everything an employee needs to know about the company.
- Team chat apps. Some companies also use internal built-in chat functions for employees to communicate. Other popular work messaging platforms include Slack, Twist and Google Hangouts.
Pros and Cons of Technology in the Office
Technology in the workplace makes communicating among colleagues a seamless process, but it also causes a few complications along the way. Here are the pros and cons of using technology in the office.
Advantages of Technology
- Easily keep track of deadlines and assignments
- Streamlines the overall business process
- Allows employees and clients to access files, projects and more from anywhere
- Improves communication
- Allows employees to work from anywhere
- Improves productivity and efficiency among employees
- Inspires employees to search for new ideas and be more creative
- Lets employees simultaneously collaborate across multiple business technology platforms
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Disadvantages of Technology
- Allows attackers to hack into databases and steal a company or employee’s private information
- Lets employees become easily distracted by personal sites and apps while using the technology on the job
- Allows employees to be less social because they are confined to their desks and computers all day long
- Changes frequently and can be costly for companies to keep up with
Top 6 Tech Tools for Project Management
Project management is one of the biggest aspects of any company. Technology can be used as a tool to effectively monitor and manage employees working on an assignment, as well as to keep track of the project’s progress. Here are the top tools to use for project management at a business.
- Asana. It tracks projects, assigns deadlines and allows direct communication within the platform. Major companies like AirBnB use this.
- Dropbox. This is a file-sharing platform that allows employees to upload documents, photos, videos and other files. It lets employees easily share them with colleagues and clients.
- Trello. This is a website and app that uses a board-style system to implement project management. Each board corresponds to a certain employee or project and uses a list system to track progress. As steps are completed, employees go in and check the box of the completed task.
- Planio. This is an app that streamlines a business’ workflow. Projects are managed through charts, drag and drop boards, tracking time and more.
- Basecamp. This is an app that has the goal of increasing accountability with employees. Managers assign tasks, employees are notified when they receive a new task and everyone can view tasks from each project.
- Confluence. Confluence is a workflow collaboration app. Users create and share meeting notes, office policies, marketing plans and more. The app keeps an employee’s work organized by category and has a search feature that makes it easy to find information. It also lets employees share feedback in real-time.
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