Today’s ever-changing office technology can increase productivity and allow your people to keep their focus on the activities that matter most. Alternatively, new tech toys can be a distraction and time drain.
The only way to know for sure the impact technology is having is by starting from a viewpoint of what you’re missing in workplace productivity and what you want to achieve. If you do this rather than simply latching on to new technology that grabs your attention, you’ll be more likely to stay focused on your goal of increasing workplace efficiency.
Here are several tools that are worth exploring. Most are very affordable, and all add value in ways large and small.
- Cloud-based services. This is a good starting point for just about any upgrades you’d like to make in technology today. Getting your computer network on the cloud means that critical data and programs have transitioned from your own servers and hard drives to off-site operation and storage. The advantages include automatic tech support and updates, and 24/7 availability to your people from any device, anywhere they choose to access the data. Best of all, you’ve got someone else’s army of IT specialists maintaining the system and protecting the safety and security of your work.
- Collaboration tools. Applications such as Google Apps for Business enable users in multiple locations to work together on cloud-based projects and even manage shared calendars. This is an ideal arrangement for enhancing productivity while working together on documents with clients or team members in other offices or working from home.
- Web and videoconferencing software. Programs such as MozyPro Server enable face-to-face contact for better communication and greater clarity when all participants can’t be in the same room at the same time.
- Anti-distraction apps. Today’s open office environment means that privacy and silence are as rare as a lineup of private offices with walls and doors that actually close. The $1.99 Noisli app for Apple devices is one example of software that offers soothing and nondistractive background sounds such as wind, rain, fan and others. Your people can’t always have the privacy they’d like, but for very little cost they can feel as if they do.
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