By Mike Tomlinson, Director of Small Business, EE

While the economy is on the road to recovery, small businesses across the country still need to focus on driving efficiencies and productivity wherever possible. Workplace apps are one of the ways small businesses have been boosting productivity, helping them to concentrate on the task at hand – building their business. One in four employees of small businesses use their own free apps at work, like Google Maps, Skype and Google Drive, and almost one in ten small businesses have built their own mobile apps, to complete tasks like enabling staff to book in holidays.

Despite workplace apps’ increasing effectiveness though, research from EE shows that small businesses aren’t keeping up with employees’ demand for apps. Just 22% provide apps for employees to use at work, in spite of more than 5 million small business employees in the UK believing that apps can help them be more productive. Figuring out which apps can best help staff can be tough, so here we’ve detailed our top ten that can help small businesses immediately productivity:

1. Receipt Bank

Receipt Bank gathers, stores and processes receipts and invoices directly from a user’s smartphone or tablet when the document is scanned. This helps remove the administrative burden that bills, invoices and receipts place on small businesses.

2. Legal Manager

Legal Manager provides businesses with legally compliant documents including sales agreements, property contracts and terms and conditions for websites at a fraction of the cost of employing a law firm.

3. Moonfruit

Moonfruit is a website and webshop creator and editor specifically designed to help small businesses build websites for their brand without having to understand complex computer code to do so. It also automatically optimises sites for web, tablet and mobile devices.

4. Credit HQ

Credit HQ provides tools and services that lower the chance of bad debt by credit checking potential customers, clearly setting out credit terms, and providing support with debt recovery.

5. Zendesk

Zendesk provides small businesses with a powerful tool to track and manage customer service, support and engagement.

6. Sage One Accounts and Payroll

Sage One Accounts and Payroll are simple, clear and HMRC-recognised services for managing payroll, finances, creating invoices and processing VAT. Payroll is an RTI-ready online payroll service. Each service is specifically designed to help small businesses manage financial processes as easily and time-effectively as possible.

7. MozyPro

MozyPro is an online backup service that syncs files across smartphones, tablets, and computers, helping small businesses store anything from 20GB to over 1TB of business-critical data in the cloud. It saves companies time, money and headaches, and allows them to focus on important things like growing their business.

8. Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 provides familiar applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint via the cloud, so that businesses can access them from virtually anywhere and any device. This enables staff members to put their time to the best possible use by working on crucial documents from home or while on their commute and immediately share them with colleagues, customers and other contacts.

9. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a small business marketing suite that enables companies to easily manage new business leads generated by email, events and social media.

10. WebEx Mobile

WebEx Mobile enables businesses to schedule and host meetings and web conferences from their mobile – allowing them to meet online, share documents, and collaborate with colleagues and customers wherever they are.