The challenge of optimizing workplace productivity has intensified in the past few years. The mainstreaming of remote and hybrid workplaces and an unprecedented proliferation of work applications have created new challenges around collaboration and communication.
As businesses navigate an unencouraging macroeconomic environment and labor market pressures, they are actively seeking ways to boost workplace productivity to drive profit margins and maintain their competitive advantage.
However, large-scale use of legacy platforms and manual systems further complicates the decision-makers’ task of optimizing employee productivity and engagement.
Thankfully, technology is helping improve employee productivity levels while businesses scale operations and eliminate bottlenecks.
Here are 8 ways in which technology is helping businesses drive greater workplace productivity.
1) AI-based Time and Attendance Solutions
Businesses are increasingly switching from manual processes to AI-driven time and attendance tracking solutions due to the myriad advantages they offer. The automation of manual employee attendance tracking processes helps eliminate data silos, offering deeper insights into employee productivity levels. These solutions provide data-driven visibility into the availability of resources and whether or not the employees are over or under-utilized.
Business leaders can use these data findings to streamline workflows and allocate tasks intelligently, ensuring optimal productivity while effectively managing employee burnout and fatigue.
Additionally, modern time and attendance software have intelligent time tracking features that greatly reduce downtime by helping analyze how resources utilize their time between projects. Businesses can also pinpoint repetitive and administrative tasks that they can automate.
This way, employees can free themselves to focus on business-critical tasks and make the most of their billable work hours, boosting organization-wide productivity and efficiency.
For overall process improvement, such solutions provide a much easier way to create accurate payrolls while helping businesses stay compliant. What’s more, the real-time insights provided by such tools into the time and attendance metrics help with quicker business decision-making.
2) Collaboration Tools
Effective collaboration is key to brainstorming ideas, addressing business challenges, and creating effective solutions.
But collaboration has come under the scanner as businesses have pivoted to remote and hybrid workplace models. Plus, organizations are tapping into the global workforce pool to hire highly skilled workers while they work across time zones and geographies, thereby complicating the task of collaboration.
Thanks to technology platforms, however, teams are able to connect and collaborate seamlessly. Online video conferencing platforms like Zoom allow teams to interact face-to-face using video, audio, and mobile phones.
Cloud-based instant messaging platforms like Slack help employees communicate effectively, plan projects better, and share media files. Meanwhile, platforms like Google Drive offer virtual shared workspaces.
3) Project Management Software
Project management software platforms have changed the way businesses manage their projects. Instead of using manual processes and siloed systems to manage various aspects of a project, businesses can use unified and AI-powered project management software to empower their managers.
In turn, managers can:
- Efficiently allocate and track project deliverables
- Set deadlines and
- Monitor the projects’ progress in real-time
And they can monitor such aspects without expanding their bandwidths.
Such a setup allows managers to ensure the timely delivery of projects while letting them focus on enhancing their teams’ core competencies and skills matrix.
4) Scheduling Automation
Scheduling is usually associated with repetitive and administrative work, which involves significant communication between team members, even for setting up meetings. Such employee involvement does not enhance employee experience or help optimize productivity.
In recent years, technologies like automation have enabled organizations to frontload aspects of scheduling, such as individual meetings, using tools like Sprintful.
Scheduling automation also plays a key role in freeing up time that employees can invest in enhancing their skills and expertise to improve their productivity levels in the long run.
5) Performance Audit
Measuring performance requires a scientific approach. Tools like 360-degree feedback have evolved from traditional avatars, thanks to advanced software that churns assessment data quickly and intuitively. This helps organizations gather, measure, and assess employees’ understanding of the behaviors and performances of their co-workers.
Thus, they’re great technology-based tools that help assess individual, team, and organization-wide performance and create effective strategies around learning and development, high-potential identification, and succession planning.
Besides, they are routinely used for performance appraisals and for gaining deep insights into the strengths and weaknesses of employees. This way, employees can augment their strengths and use constructive feedback to work on areas that impact their ability to drive greater workplace productivity.
Managing customer expectations is a crucial aspect of any business. Therefore, businesses need to find ways to quickly and accurately address customer queries. Delays in handling customer queries can lead to dissatisfied customers and, eventually, impact repeat business due to poor word-of-mouth publicity.
At a time when customers are rationalizing spending and demanding greater value for every penny spent, technology interventions like chatbots ensure a seamless customer interface.
This also profoundly impacts organizational productivity as employees do not have to address customer queries manually. They can let automation and machine learning take over as the first layer of the interface while they focus on the big picture.
7) Amplifying Marketing Efforts
An uninspiring economic outlook and a dynamic marketplace have put enormous pressure on businesses to make the most of their marketing spending. As a result, businesses must accurately identify and reach out to their target audiences. Platforms like Hubspot are shining examples of how cloud-based platforms are helping businesses attract, engage, and onboard customers.
The use of AI in digital marketing, for example, has changed the game altogether, helping marketers focus on more strategic tasks and far better actionable insights than before.
These free up marketers to focus on the messaging rather than on brainstorming ways to attract customers using inbound marketing techniques.
8) Skills Development
Technology has democratized access to knowledge. Today, employees have access to countless skills development courses and programs, often free of cost. Many businesses have created vast repositories of such skills development courses for their workforces.
Thus, employees do not have to spend vast sums of money, as in the past, to acquire knowledge. It is a crucial development, especially when skills requirements are changing dramatically, and new skills are replacing the existing ones.
Continuous skills enhancement via upskilling and reskilling can significantly affect employee output, creating a win-win proposition for employees and businesses.
Agility and innovation are the central pillars for businesses to build future-proof entities. Technology is the enabler that can help businesses get there sooner. Employees may have their hearts in the right place but they need technology tools and platforms to become more efficient. Merely intent is not enough. It must be ably aided by technology, now and in the future.
Shashank Shekhar has been a digital and content marketing professional for over 9 years. He specializes in writing about technology trends like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) and their impact on shaping the project management landscape with tools like professional services automation solutions and time-tracking solutions. Outside of work, he loves reading about history, astrophysics, and geopolitics.