In my last blog post, I talked about empowering employees to be more productive by offering them more freedom; today I want to focus on another key to improving productivity—proper utilization of technology. When used incorrectly, technology can be cumbersome and even decrease productivity due to frustrations with downtime, lack of consistency across the organization, and limited accessibility. When this happens, any investment an organization has made in IT is likely resulting in a negative ROI. There are four keys to making sure technology helps productivity instead of hindering it:
- Make sure everyone in the organization uses the same system.
When people within the same workforce are using different systems, security risks, duplicative efforts, and inconsistencies abound. Having everyone on the same system allows for a better, more efficient flow of information and productivity.
- Ensure that the system works.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but monthly, weekly, or daily system downtimes can cause workers to become frustrated and stressed. With so much of today’s work depending on the use of technology, downtimes are a major block to productivity.
- Managers should be involved in the process of choosing and implementing technologies.
As leaders of the workforce, managers need to make sure the right technology for the job is chosen and implemented. The trendiest technology in the world will fall short of inspiring productivity if it’s not right for what the workforce needs.
- Certain systems should be available on mobile devices.
In today’s work world, many emails get checked on mobile devices. It’s important that workers are able to access work systems (barring certain secure systems) from their mobile devices. Equally important, though, is setting limits on work time. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Failing to set boundaries on work once the workday is over can lead to stress and a decrease in productivity.
When used wisely, investments in technology can lead to a boost in productivity and efficiency, resulting in a positive ROI; a consistent and dependable system is key. What workplace technology frustrations have you faced? What innovations have been successful?