Business owners everywhere are inundated with claims that they need to embrace the latest technological marvel if they want to remain successful in an ever-evolving marketplace. While many people understand the importance of innovating, relatively few entrepreneurs and managers know how to actually go about improving everyday productivity with the help of digital technology.
It's time to stop squandering your innovative potential and to start using strategies that ensure you'll squeeze as much productivity as possible from your office technology. Here's how to supercharge your office productivity by enlisting the latest gadgets to your cause and mastering ongoing digital trends.
1. Learn about change before embracing it.
Perhaps the most important thing to know is that you must thoroughly learn about technological change before embracing it. Rushing to embrace a new innovation that you’re unfamiliar with will lead to you wasting your limited budget on shiny gadgets that don’t do much more than shackle you down and stymie productivity while you attempt to master them. Study ongoing trends and determine why so many businesses are embracing a particular innovation. One such example is the trend of remote work, which is becoming commonplace in many offices and is supercharging American productivity as a result.
Working from home is widely being hailed as a method of boosting productivity, for instance, despite the fact that many critics alleged it would actually decay organizational efficacy. One two-year study from Stanford demonstrates that employees who worked from home were way more productive for one simple reason – they were much happier. Some critics assert that working from home means employees won't actually work, but in reality, it results in fewer distractions and happier employees, two things which generally bolster productivity and profits alike.
You could never have been comfortable embracing remote work if you didn't know about its efficacy, but now that you're well schooled, you can make the right decision. Permitting some workers to stay at home and manage their responsibilities in a digital fashion can pay off tremendously. Nevertheless, those who are more focused on bolstering productivity within the office will still want reliable strategies for boosting the workers who remain under their direct purview.
2. Consider providing technology to workers.
One helpful way to use technology to improve office productivity is to provide more technology directly to your workers. Businesses have been providing computers and telephones to workers for decades now, but only recently has the trend of giving workers personal smartphones taken off, largely because many were so skeptical of it at first. As it turns out, providing workers with company phones can reap excellent results if it's carefully managed. There are serious pros and cons worth considering before giving your workers phones, but you should ask yourself how you intend to equip employees with valuable tools that could boost their productivity.
Don't think you can provide them with the latest hardware and software and leave them to it, either; you must train your workers if you want them to succeed. Digital training initiatives aren't always popular, but you must understand that you need not necessarily train your workers in a digital fashion to do their jobs, but rather must train them to use digital technology while doing their jobs. They don't need to suffer through a 10-minute video explaining how to fulfill their responsibilities, but should instead be given ample access to tech experts who can help them navigate useful tools which they themselves can use later on.
This won't be possible without a chief technology officer (CTO), something many entrepreneurs and business owners wrongly assume they can't afford. While CTOs can be expensive in certain cases, they almost always pay off; having a dedicated technology specialist won't just make training easier, but will enable your company to climb aboard digital bandwagons while they're still relevant and worthwhile. A CTO will be fulfilling the crucial function of determining which technologies are worthy of your company's time and consideration and which aren't.
If you've never appointed a CTO before, do your homework and learn about what it takes to be an excellent CTO. As you'll soon discover, having a dedicated professional to deal with technological concerns won't just bolster office productivity, but will also free you up to worry about pressing issues elsewhere.
3. Don't distract them with too many gizmos.
As important as it is to provide your workers with the technology they need to succeed, it's also imperative to realize that you can overdo it and distract them with too many bells and whistles. Trying to train workers to use multiple new software services at once can confuse and demoralize them while introducing new gadgets to the workplace all the time can lead to galloping neurosis centered on constantly mastering the newest innovation. Buying your workers headsets to cancel out distracting noise or good keyboards so that they can write more is acceptable, but don't think you have to buy them every new bit of hardware that rolls off the shelves.
This is a good time to remember why technology is harnessed in the first place – to bolster productivity rather than to detract from it. As obvious as it may seem, some business owners still have the "more is better" mindset when it comes to technology and attempt to cram as much of it down their workers' throats as possible. In reality, you should be focusing on a few technologies that you can cleverly apply to your specific situation for a relatively low price.
Communications technology, for instance, is universally cheap and reliable in this day and age. It's also something that can supercharge your office productivity without making things too complicated; letting workers communicate with video chat services, for instance, isn't a technologically dense endeavor but will still enable them to get more work done in less time than ever before. Besides bolstering communication channels, tech should be employed to boost employee comfort, something that can seem like a luxury but is actually an essential element of turning a profit.
4. Pay attention to worker morale.
There's no denying that workers who feel comfortable and happy will produce more than those who are frustrated and sad. It's thus worthwhile to ask yourself how to leverage technological developments to make workers feel better at the office; sometimes, this means knowing when too much tech is causing harm to your workers. Carpal tunnel and eye strain are very serious issues in the digital age, for instance, and can inhibit your workforce if you're not sure what to look out for.
Protecting bodies from digital harm means permitting regular breaks and teaching workers how to properly use their favorite devices and personal computers. If you don't focus your time and effort on doing this every now and then, you'll find that your efforts to enlist the help of technology have actually backfired and could be thwarting your productivity gains. With time, however, you'll realize that well-leveraged technology coupled with a worker-care regime enables your office to achieve more and better results than ever before.