Increasing productivity is the common goal of everyone in the business world, whether they’re leading a major company or working from a home office. Scaling efficiency means something different for every business (and individual), but new tools are coming onto the market that have the potential to make this process more straightforward and effective.
Here are five powerful technologies that can boost your productivity.
1) ANALYTICAL TOOLS
The first step to growing your business is knowing your business. That often involves a tremendous outlay of resources and labor to accomplish, especially in market research where a full report can cost upwards of $35,000.
Thankfully, analytics is one business process that’s gaining immensely from advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Performance predictions can be made more accurate via more advanced algorithms crunching internal numbers, and market research can be made less expensive and more accurate since millions of data points can be analyzed in minutes.
Many analytical tools rely heavily on cloud technology, making related developments like distributed tracing useful, so make sure that your staff has the IT knowledge necessary to implement these technologies before adopting them.
2) HIGH-SPEED TELECOMMUNICATIONS
It’s hard to believe that companies once balked at the idea of employees working from home. The truth is that it’s always been a good idea; in fact, a famous Stanford University study found that remote workers showed a 13% lead in productivity over their office-bound equivalents.
The adoption of 5G broadband has been a boon to remote workers, allowing smoother communication with HQ and each other using VoIP applications like Skype. If you’re heading back to the office this year, consider keeping remote or hybrid work available as an option as well as investing in the telecom technologies that make it easier.
3) CLOUD-BASED COLLABORATIVE SOFTWARE
Another technology that’s helping distributed workforces is the advent of cloud-based data-sharing applications. Systems like Basecamp, for example, allow file-sharing and other tasks necessary for the management of projects remotely. This is especially useful if you have one or more sales teams that need to coordinate their goals.
Another good reason to use these virtual office spaces is that meetings become less necessary. Harvard Business Review research revealed that 65% of managers across a spectrum of industries feel that meetings prevent them from doing work. Add in commute times, and the wasted time is obvious.
Consider using this tech to make the most of your hours.
4) CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Customer relationship management (CRM) software has gotten a lot of press over the past few years. The technology has its skeptics, and rightly so, but when applied properly, CRM tools can help cut overhead and free sales staff to think creatively.
A good example of this is automated SMS messaging for digital marketing campaigns and the integration of customer service chatbots with traditional CRM. Business leaders are reporting that chatbots increase sales by around 67%.
A caveat: Much of this increase comes from the volume of customers that they’re able to reach as well as their 24/7 availability. Customers still prefer interacting with humans, especially through live chat. Combining both methods might be a good way of getting the best of both worlds and maximizing customer convenience.
5) HUMAN RESOURCE TECHNOLOGIES
A business is only as efficient as its workforce, and its workforce is only as efficient as they are motivated and trained. “Gamification” is the latest trend in HR technology to have this goal in mind. In short, it turns training regimens and daily tasks into games, with rewards for those who perform well. This keeps employees engaged and gives them an added stake in their success. It’s also excellent for encouraging team building, which is a soft skill that every employer should be nurturing or seeking during onboarding.
Speaking of onboarding, pre-employment behavioral assessment services by companies like Pymetrics can be useful for narrowing down candidates based on cognitive factors, which is more useful for determining an employee’s value than focusing on “years of experience”.
It’s easy to see that “productivity” is a goal that takes many forms. Use this information to help scale your operations in the new year.