Raise your hand if you’ve ever been sitting at your desk frustrated because something is preventing you from getting your work done or maybe you’re constantly thinking, “There has GOT to be a better way to do this?"If your hand is up right now:
1. You’re probably getting some weird looks…
2. You are not alone!
Being productive at work can mean the difference between reaching your goals and mediocrity. The same applies your business. If employees are being bogged down by inefficiencies or don’t have the right tools, you could be wasting time and bleeding money.
So, how do you ensure your workforce is working as efficiently as possible? The answer is simple, technology! Building a strong IT network and incorporating the right technology will not put an end to water-cooler conversations but it can keep your employees focused, on-task, and better enable them to do their work. Here’s how…
Save Time on Business processes
On a daily basis, the average American employee suffers 22 minutes of downtime resulting from various IT issues . Now you might be thinking, "Isn’t technology supposed to be making our company more productive?" Yes, but technology is kind of like getting a new car…
Your new car is going to be faster than your old car, it gets better gas mileage, and the interior is squeaky clean. Heck - you love this new car! Over time, however, if you don’t treat your new car well the pick-up will slow down, your mileage will drop, and your leather seats will fade.
The same thing goes for technology, and, as with a car the drop off will be gradual to the point where you might not see how much these little issues add up. In essence it's hard to know when the time has come to upgrade. Take a look:
Say you employ 10 sales reps at $50k ($25/hour) a year and they aren’t able to work for 22 minutes each day. No big deal.... Right?
Who knew 22 minutes a day could cost you thousands? Now imagine if you had 50 sales reps with some of them earning in the six figures... Reviewing your network for bottlenecks to eliminate inefficiencies will not only free up time by speeding up processes but it will also ensure your network is ready to scale with some of the software/technologies we are about to discuss!
Automation = Freedom
You know that repetitive, time consuming task that you have to complete every day at work? Maybe you have to send tracking to clients, document employee hours, or post your company’s social media updates. Whatever it is I’m willing to bet your time could be better spent elsewhere…
Say hello to automation! Automation streamlines a time-intensive process by reducing the amount of human interaction and time required; essentially boiling the task down to a matter of simple data entry. Automating a process can save countless hours during the work week and let employees focus on more important tasks. The issue is most Americans believe their employer is not taking advantage of the opportunity:
3 OUT OF 4 EMPLOYEES IN AMERICA BELIEVE EMPLOYERS DON'T GIVE THEM ACCESS TO THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY TO DO THEIR JOB EFFICIENTLY. 
This statistic NEEDS to change. No one knows the intricacies of a job like the person doing it and with the seemly endless number of automation technologies at a company’s fingertips there is no excuse not to implement something that would drastically increase employee productivity.
Database Management Systems – Business’s Best Friend
Database management systems are a game-changer for companies that want to be able to scale their business and adapt to changes in the market. Sure, you can make sales and keep your business afloat with a pen and notebook, but database management systems will take your company to the next level.
Two main types of management systems exist:
CRM – Customer Relationship Management – software designed to organize, engage, and nurture potential leads and current clients through every step of the buyer’s journey from first engagement to life-long brand advocacy. Popular CRMs: Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho
ERP – Enterprise Resource Management – built to streamline business processes and standardize inputs so data can be analyzed and put to practical use regardless of which employee or department enters it. Popular ERPs: Netsuite, Sage, Quickbooks
The goal of either system is to increase productivity and some software will include both a CRM and ERP system, but when you boil it down, CRM aims to boost sales for the front-end by organizing and targeting hot leads, and ERP improves back-office functionality and will cut cost and reduce overhead.
Check out this article from Forbes if you need help deciding if a CRM system is right for you.
Remote Workplace – Why Limit Yourself?
People tend to have this preconceived notion of what it is like to work from home and it typically looks something like…
As it turns out, quite opposite is true. According to a Stanford study:
Telecommuters are 14% more productive than their office-bound colleagues AND on average these employees take less sick days each year. 
Now this doesn’t mean you should go and sell your office but you should be open to the idea of allowing employees to go remote. Think of the benefits:
- Technology integration – VPN services allows employees to privately access company files remotely and chat/video meeting apps will help connect your entire workforce.
- Improved employee retention – Millennials are picky, give them what they want.
- Hire anywhere – Don’t have qualified candidates in your area? No problem!
- Lower costs – How much room do you have in your office?
- MORE PRODUCTIVITY – Have you been reading?
There is obviously more to consider when deciding on allowing remote workers, but if your chief concern is your employees slacking off without your watchful gaze are you really hiring the right people?
Internal Connectedness Matters
Companies like Apple and Google don’t just happen to hire extremely productive individuals, they breed them. These companies live and breathe their company culture and immerse their employees in their brand the second they join the team.
Productivity improves by 20 to 25 percent in organizations with connected employees. 
The concept is pretty simple. When someone feels connected or involved in something they care much more about it, and this is extremely true when it comes to a job. So, how can tech make employees feel more connected?
- Mobile apps - Distribute company news and happenings in more receptive manner
- Smart TV’s – Display live company stats so all team members know where the company stands
- Video capabilities – People want to see who they are working with and it will help remote workers feel closer to the team
- Gamification apps - Encourage interoffice competition that also builds the brand
Technology allows you to deliver company info and branding to employees in a way they prefer and can also help them realize how their individual efforts make a difference in the overall company direction. The more they care about what they do the harder they will work for you.
Give your employees what they want! Technology is becoming more and more entrenched in our lives and this trend shows no signs of slowing. If you don’t work software and tech into your company’s foundation don’t be surprised when you find it difficult to appeal to the next wave of workers!
Want to learn how to better incorporate tech to increase your employee productivity?