Building a More Business Productivity with Technology

productivity

Productivity is the measure of the efficiency of people in a business completing certain tasks. The tools provided and the employee’s ability to carry out these tasks result in the overall productivity of a company. The proper use of technology in your organization can significantly increase your business’ productivity.

Business Technology Tiers

If you are interested in incorporating additional technology into your company, it is generally because you want to make your business process more efficient. Doing so will improve your overall productivity. There are three tiers used in digital transformation:

  • Operational: incorporates business management applications, productivity, and communications
  • Supply Chain: data collection based on your business procurement, processing, and distribution processes is utilized 
  • Digital Platforms: implemented to promote and/or sell goods or services

Better Productivity with Operational Technology

Companies must provide the most efficient work tools to allow their employees to be the most productive they can be. Workplace tools generally involve technological advances as these can help maximize overall productivity. Customer relationship management (CRM) technology provides users with the ability to track progress, time, and interaction with clients to keep them updated on the progress of various projects. Communication tools can include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), email, and video conferencing. Productivity tools such as Microsoft Office and Google Drive offer users the ability to be more productive as it allows for built-in collaboration with other members of your staff. These features give users access to the tools necessary to promote productivity while also incorporating communication with one another.

Better Productivity with Supply Chain Technology

The supply chain is fundamental to a company’s ability to generate the goods and services they offer to customers. Even service-oriented businesses must have an efficient supply chain in order to service their clients in a timely manner. Today’s technology offers transparent services by providing logistics information, management of inventory, and other processes to track and manage goods, fleets of vehicles, and Internet of Things devices. All these systems collect data that is required to fully understand how to maximize the efficiency of your company.

Better Productivity with Digital Platform Technology

In today’s day and age of doing business, it is crucial to have some type of online presence. This allows businesses to reach many people from various parts of the world. Many companies have elevated this idea of online presence in the form of applications that allow both their employees and clients to use them with quicker ease. While CRMs, file sharing platforms, and collaboration systems are technically called digital platforms, online digital platforms typically refer to a business’ webpage, social media, and stand-alone applications that can further assist a company’s relationship with its customers. The integration of these digital platforms and other workplace tools in place will give you a better understanding of how you can create a more productive and effective business. 

The utilization of technology in business is growing exponentially. If you would like to learn more about how the professionals at 4 Corner IT can help your company acquire the proper tools needed to build a more productive business, please contact us today at 954.474.2204.

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Tips to Help Boost Smartphone Productivity

smartphone productivity

Smartphones have become a significant part of people’s everyday lives. One smartphone can have everything a person may need to get themselves through the day, from maps to planners. Over the years, smartphones have become tools to help boost productivity for people in their personal lives and while they are in the workplace.

Companies have begun to realize the potential of integrating smartphones as a tool to help translate productivity into profitability in their business. Using smartphones can work against your business if you don’t implement the right policies to get your employee’s smartphone usage to work for you and minimize distractions. Here are some tips you can use in your business to effectively use smartphones to boost productivity and reduce distractions.

Increase Collaboration and Communication

Smartphones are an effective business tool when you can utilize cloud-based applications to help employees complete tasks and communicate quickly from wherever they work. With smartphones, employees can work better with their teams by improving communication and collaboration. Employees can have email, productivity apps, and communication tools installed on their devices to increase productivity and easily connect with customers and colleagues. 

Limit Notifications

One of the drawbacks of allowing smartphone usage within your business is they have the potential to be incredibly distracting. To optimize productivity, controlling notifications by limiting them when possible means there will be few distractions to take you or your employees away from their tasks. Encourage or require your team to disable notifications from unnecessary apps to minimize the number of disruptions during hours when they need to focus the most.

Reduce Digital Clutter on Smartphones

A smartphone designated for work should have limited applications that can potentially waste time and not be directly used for work purposes. This more applies to smartphones that are company-owned devices given out to employees. Many companies implement a mobile device manager or MDM to limit the ability to download apps on devices and ensures enough space is available on the device for essential functions. 

Use a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy

Issuing company-owned devices can be a major cost and allowing your employees to use their personal smartphones for work purposes. Employees are likely comfortable using their personal devices and are likely to be more productive using them for work tasks. Allowing employees to bring their own devices for work purposes will require clear policies to ensure employees know how to use their devices when on the clock correctly. 

Smartphones have come a long way and, when used with the right tools, can help boost workplace productivity. Your business can be the most productive by using an MDM to ensure your employee’s usage of smartphones is working for you to help your organization. 

To learn more about how we can help you get started with mobile device management and smartphone productivity, reach out to 4 Corner IT at 954.474.2204.

4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Microsoft Teams

teams

Collaboration platforms are so helpful for businesses looking to streamline their communication processes. Microsoft teams is one of the more notable options out there and, like any collaboration software, is most effective when used properly. Here are some tips and best practices to get the most productivity out of Microsoft Teams & Microsoft Office.

If you don’t use teams, you can apply most of these tips to other collaboration platforms like slack and discord. All of these platforms give you the ability to streamline communication and productivity through video chat, instant messaging, and more. Learning about teams can help you in other software as well, so don’t click away!

4 Tips for Using Microsoft Teams

#1 Pin Important Messages

If there is a particularly important message with the information you’d like the entire team to see, you can pin that message to the top of the conversation. Once you select the pin icon, the message will appear first in the string of other messages so team members will see it before anything else.

This is a great tool to use for announcements, updates, or FAQs for the team so you can cut down on repetitive questions. Just click the three-dot icon and then the pin symbol, and you’re good to go!

#2 Tag Coworkers in Conversations

If you want someone’s input or need to make sure a specific coworker sees a message, Microsoft allows you to tag them using the @ symbol. This sends a notification to the user that they’ve been tagged, and they are more likely to see the message and respond in a timely manner.

#3 Organize Teams into…well Teams.

Microsoft Office allows you to split up your employees into separate groups called “teams”. This allows a dedicated space for each group to communicate. You should set up your teams so each department has its own workspace for collaboration. 

They can also be split up further into “channels” to fit your needs. based on who is working on a current project, for example.  

#4 Connect Teams to other Microsoft 365 Applications

Similar to all Microsoft 365 applications, Teams boasts impressive integration with other Microsoft office tools. It can connect and sync with OneDrive and OneNote, making file sharing a breeze. This, and other integrations, area. A wonderful way to boost productivity and collaboration. Your team should have access to all of the resources and tools they need to effectively complete their jobs.

What are some ways that you use Microsoft Teams to collaborate? Or do you prefer a different business collaboration platform? Share your thoughts in the comments! And visit us again for more tips on all things business and technology.

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Employees Do Their Best Work When They are Comfortable

employee comfort

If employees can remain productive for extended periods of time, their business tends to enjoy rapid growth. Unfortunately, this high level of productivity is not always sustainable, and it eventually slows for a variety of reasons. However, if you can make sure your employees are comfortable, then they will be more likely to maintain a manageable level of productivity. 

Most businesses have historically given employees enough to do their jobs, and that was that. This trend has slowly dissipated over the years as employers have become more cognizant of the benefits of making their employees more comfortable. Here are three ways you can increase employee comfort and, likewise, their productivity. 

Give them Hope Enough to Focus on Work 

People don’t usually leave their jobs because they don’t like the people, they don’t get enough time off, and they can’t stand the company culture. They leave because they will find someone who will pay them more or give them the edge they need to jumpstart their career. Just about all businesses want to see their employees work their way up in the company, but with higher turnover rates, it can become evident that workers would rather jump ship in certain scenarios than wait for these opportunities to become available. 

Employees will often find themselves stressed out or flustered over things external to their work, so the less stress they associate with the office, the better. While you might not be able to pay them in accordance with their talents in all cases, you can give them a sense of fulfillment by empowering them to work on projects that tap into their unique skill sets. Most people like being challenged just enough to keep themselves focused on the task at hand, and if they are focused, they’ll be less likely to leave for your competition. 

Extend More than Fringe Benefits 

While it’s certainly nice to provide snacks and drinks for your employees, it’s often the bigger-ticket items that will make the biggest difference in your workforce’s lives. It might be nice to provide them with Swiss Rolls, but when they can’t go to the dentist to address the cavities from uncontrollably eating said Swiss Rolls, it creates a serious point of contention for them. Do your best to provide adequate health and wellness programs, retirement programs, debt relief, and even student loan repayment if possible. 

Many of today’s workers don’t have the above; they only have their paychecks to rely on, and it is a major stressor. This is why they may seek out other opportunities. If you can invest in your staff beyond their compensation, such as by providing them with working technology and investing in their wellness, you can significantly reduce your turnover rate. 

Provide a Pleasant or Flexible Work Experience 

The pandemic has brought about a mindset shift in the modern worker. They now realize just how much time they are investing into their employer, and this doesn’t sit well with many of them. If you can give your team the ability to spend more time with their family or give them time to accomplish their goals outside of the office, you might find that they are more comfortable in their employment with you.  

Remember, not everyone can work remotely, and many people simply don’t (or won’t) want to. While remote operations can help in a certain capacity, it’s important to keep in mind what can and cannot be accomplished through remote operations. In cases where remote operations may not be feasible, you can instead adopt a flexible working schedule or hybrid workplace. 

How can your business make its employees more comfortable? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more introspective and thought-provoking business ideas. 

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Should Your Business Consider the Four-Day Workweek?

banner and concept. Block letters on bright orange background reading "4 day workweek"

The traditional 40-hour workweek feels like a staple in the business world, where employees work 8-hour shifts and then head home for the day. This was not always the case, however, and there can be a case made that even the 40-hour workweek should be adjusted to at least some degree. Let’s take a look at the modern workplace, how it has changed, and how it can still be changed to better employees of all levels—including you.

A Brief History of Work and Labor

The Industrial Revolution began with farmers and independent tradesmen being replaced by the factory system. With these difficult and inhumane conditions came new pushes from President Roosevelt to include working hours in the New Deal, a concept which also inspired the United Kingdom to cap work hours at 40 shortly afterward.

The end of World War II also saw women entering the workforce in droves, where they subsequently remained, as well as African American employment in the ‘50s. The factory was essentially replaced by cramped office spaces, and the 1960s saw the development of the cubicle. While all this was going on, technology rose to become a powerful productivity tool. IBM built its first electric typewriter and business computer system, and other innovations further improved operations, such as the fax machine, laser printer, and floppy disk.

The traditional 9-to-5 shift we see today did not appear until the 1980s, a time when the World Wide Web was first introduced and the processes we are so familiar with today really started to blossom. The ‘90s also saw many new innovations, including mobile phones and email. Even after the turn of the century, employment opportunities shifted toward knowledge-based roles, and many platforms took a turn toward the collaborative side of things. The 2010s in particular saw the rise of services and the technology that empowers them, a concept that is still on the rise today.

Yet, despite all of this change, the 40-hour workweek remains largely unchanged, save for a couple of recent shifts due in large part to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Why, when technology has increased in capacity so dramatically, has the workday remained constant? Let’s take a closer look.

How Things Have (and Haven’t) Changed

Technology is the key to understanding how the workplace has developed and how we will continue to work moving forward. Take a look at the technology used in the office throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. It might not have been as productive, but it allowed workers a break from the office environment. Compared to today’s always-on mentality and near-constant communication, it’s no wonder that the lines between work and home can blur so much.

Household roles, on the other hand, have not changed nearly as much. Working mothers continue to care for the family and prepare meals long after they have punched out of work for the day. This demographic also tends to be employed in high-stress positions like hospitality, education, and healthcare.

A Four-Day Workweek Could Help Resolve These Issues

Perhaps the solution is to simply work “less,” or reduce the time spent in the office by employees without reducing take-home pay. This also helps employees differentiate between home and office life by assigning an additional day as “off.”

A four-day workweek has been said to benefit the environment as well, as the morning commute creates a major carbon burden through today’s gasoline-powered transportation vehicles and the waste of single-use lunch packaging.

There is some pushback to this idea, however, because employers are under the impression that a four-day workweek means less productivity. This has been found to not be the case at all. If you are concerned about losing out on productivity from a shorter workweek, we can help to offset this through the use of technology that streamlines processes and workflows, something which is valuable even if you can’t bring yourself to dump the 40-hour workweek.

Your business can implement these technology solutions to improve operations, too. To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.