It’s not always just the big bold technology projects that deliver value to organisations. Readily available technology can simplify the working day significantly for your workforce and have an enormous impact on a business’ bottom line. There are several ways companies can utilise technology to increase their overall net earnings, reduce costs and improve staff productivity and moral; from introducing flexible working to making smarter investments in the latest technology. Here are my top tips for how to use widely available technology to improve that all important bottom line.
People don’t always need to be in the office to complete tasks or produce their best work. Remote working from home or a coffee shop, involves employees taking all or some of their role away from the office. Through using 4G, Wi-Fi and conference call technology, staff can stay in touch with the rest of the team throughout the working week, while working outside the office. The benefits of this can include improved focus, greater productivity and less stress. In our recent survey, almost two thirds (62%) of people said they would be more productive if they could work flexibly.
One of the most common types of flexible working, flexitime, allows staff to work a set of core hours each day but with varying start and finish times depending on their preference. In the same survey, 53.1% of UK workers said they arrive stressed or flustered at work more than once a month. Being able to avoid this stressful commute at peak times of the day can greatly improve their productivity and wellbeing. With the time that is freed up by not having to commute to the office, staff have more time to handle their core role.
Staying in touch
Communicating within your team is vital for producing the best work. There are so many great collaborative technology tools available today that eliminate the need to be in the same physical location. For example, conference call and web technology, which utilises VoIP or traditional landlines and makes it possible to talk to any member of the team regardless of where they are in the world.
Some web chat applications such as iMeet even allow you to instant message, share computer screens, take part in live chats and invite large numbers of colleagues to join in on important meetings. This widely available technology eliminates the need to arrange face-to-face meetings which can be costly and logistically challenging for members of the team who may be in different continents.
I’m a strong believer in treating employees as intelligent people who want to make and be a part of a successful business; employees aren’t like machines! Placing a strong emphasis on having a good work-life balance through implementing flexible working and using the latest technology to eliminate menial tasks can greatly reduce stress levels. We all know that less admin makes for a happier team!
Apps that promote mindfulness, good mental health and even getting a good night’s sleep can contribute towards ensuring staff are healthy, happy and focused. All factors that increase staff welfare and add to overall productivity. A happier workforce is much less likely to call in sick or leave the company for what they believe are greener pastures.
Utilising widely available technology to take processes online can significantly help to improve productivity. A company intranet, usually kept secure on the cloud, is a simple but efficient way to ensure all staff have access to the relevant information they need in one central place. Having access to central folders for client work, expenses, holiday forms, travel documents, anywhere at any time, reduces the need for staff to call or email various departments and vendors. This means staff can concentrate on the task at hand without the need to take time out of their day to interrupt other colleagues or partners.
Moving all processes online can also help drive the productivity of sales teams, greatly contributing to increased net earnings and profit. Introducing online quotations and contracts creates well defined internal processes for the sign off of projects for sales teams. This makes it more efficient to get a quote out to a new customer in a short time frame.
Taking everything online also means that you can utilise tools such as electronic signatures which saves on paper, postage and most importantly time, thereby increasing the productivity of the team.
Introducing portable technology such as laptops and a company-wide intranet is a smart investment. Not only does it significantly reduce overhead costs that come with hiring office space, desktop equipment and stationary, it gives staff the ability to work flexibly.
Our survey showed that over half of workers (55%) now consider flexible working to a crucial element when considering a job. It costs a lot of money to go through the process of employing someone new, and keeping hold of the talent you already have will keep employee churn rates low. Flexible working is a strong pull for many workers and the contribution it can make to the growth of business and profitability cannot be underestimated.
Deploying widely available technology can significantly simplify the working day for staff and have an enormous impact on business’ bottom lines. You don’t necessarily need big, expensive technology to deliver the best results. Using technology in a clever way to implement flexible working can help keep costs down, improve staff moral and increase productivity; all major factors in improving that all important bottom line.
By Chris Martin, CTO at Powwownow