By Allie Philpin
Technology has moved so far forward over the last few years, to the point that we can’t remember what it was like without our smartphones, mobile devices, apps and Facebook accounts. Whereas in the past we relied on pen-and-paper and meetings to exchange ideas, take notes, share information, etc., and we had to be sitting at our desks in front of a PC to be able to access the Internet, now it’s all very different; now, all we do is click a button, or swipe a finger!
But how do we make all this fantastic technology, immediate connectivity and mobility work for us to increase productivity? Here are 5 tips to help you and your colleagues get the best out of your work day and improve your bottom line.
1. Collaborate… from anywhere! A few years ago, flexible working, or working remotely, was for the few, the privileged; today, it’s a very different story! With the rise in the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and even laptops, plus the increase in the use of cloud-based systems, the majority of workers are able to work from just about anywhere. That doesn’t mean to say that you don’t need people in the office anymore, it just means that because of technology, employees are able to access corporate systems, file and share documents, exchange information, send an email and so much more without having to be sitting at their desk.
2. Make use of the app! With the rise of the mobile device, there has been the increase in apps, and I don’t mean games! There is a huge range of apps now available to help you in the workplace, be it project management, document filing and sharing, workflow automation, and more. File and share Word documents online platforms and apps like DropBox; take notes whilst in meetings, on the telephone, on the move using apps such as OneNote or EverNote; work on and manage projects using apps similar to GoogleKeep or Pages. Whatever your work, there is an app that can help you not only track your workflow but also to help with time management.
3. Reduce those travel costs! Before the cloud, employees spent many hours travelling; since the cloud, employees spend many hours accessing files, holding meetings, working on projects, sharing documents, and other tasks via the cloud or via project management systems that are web-based. Check out solutions like WorkZone and Teambox which will help the employees that work remotely to tag their work, assign tasks, set completion dates, track workflows, and so much more!
4. Time management. Many of us often find ourselves spending more time that we intended on some projects or tasks; we can also find ourselves not getting things done because we run out of time – we all know and have experienced that problem! In today’s world of technology, there really is no excuse for it now. There are plenty of apps available that can help you track your time on a project or a task, most of which also include a timer, and can also be linked to a centralised management system. A service like Rescue Time is able to track exactly how much time is spent on a range of tasks and provide an insight on where your time is being spent.
5. Don’t forget to update/upgrade! As technology improves and new versions are launched, make a point of updating and/or upgrading your applications, software solutions and business systems. Using outdated systems can, long term, be a drawback; if the supplier has launched a new version, it usually means there is a new feature that has been designed to make your work life even easier, and provide you with a better chance of improving productivity – don’t ignore it! Review your systems on a regular basis and save more time, and money.
Working remotely has never been easier, and there is plenty of technology out there to help you improve productivity.