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Productivity in the U.S. fell 0.3% in the third quarter of 2019. It may sound small. But, the issue can be put in a better light when you consider analysts had originally predicted a 0.6% increase. In addition, this was the first decrease in nearly half a decade. Business leaders must react now to ensure that their companies don’t suffer unnecessarily from the slowing economic productivity. Science says you can use technology practices to overcome the market-wide productivity slump. Here are five technology practices to boost productivity quickly and easily:

1. Automate your workflow.

One of the simplest ways to boost productivity is by automating the minutia that bogs us down throughout the day. Workflow automation software can impact a variety of different mundane tasks across an organization. 

Automating workflow can enable a salesman to send effective follow-up emails in a timely manner. It also allows recruiters to email prospective employees with powerfully curated templates. Automation also equips customer service reps to respond to customer requests quickly and accurately. Even managers and business owners can benefit from workflow automation. For example, they can use it to streamline communication with clients and employees. 

Implementing a workflow automation tool should begin with an analysis of current productivity to locate under-performing areas. When implemented correctly, automation can streamline a company’s internal operations and dramatically increase productivity.

2. Open company communication.

According to a study by the PR industry leader Holmes, each large company (100,000 employees or more) loses a staggering $62.4 million per year from poor communication. That adds up to over $600 per employee lost simply because of subpar communication. If you add in the remote nature of the modern workforce, it is increasingly difficult to communicate regardless of whether it has ten or 10,000 employees.

Fortunately, technology can help close this communication gap. From setting up email groups to utilizing communication applications like Slack, Zoom, and Doodle, technology can virtually bring employees together. They can use text, voice, and face-to-face meetings to maintain robust communication channels. In turn, this increases efficiency and productivity.

3. Enhance team collaboration.

Collaboration is another critical area. When asked, 86% of executives and their employees cited either a lack of communication or collaboration as the reason for failures in the workplace.

Project management software like Teamwork allows teams to both communicate and collaborate as they work on projects together. This tech platform enables teams to upload files, share information, and track deadlines in a shared space. The work done on these platforms leaves a virtual paper trail that makes it quick and easy to reference past activities and see when they were executed.

4. Virtualize your work environment.

Many of the technologies already discussed operate out of the cloud. Apps store everything online in an easily accessible format. Video conferencing software is often cloud-based at this point. Even email creation tools like Mail Chimp house all of their information in the cloud.

This embrace of the cloud on a company-wide level is another excellent way to boost productivity. Shift as many of your operations online as possible. Then, you can reduce the need for hardware upgrades. It will also reduce the time spent transferring data and overseeing hardware backups.

In addition, embracing a virtualized work environment enhances the ability for remote teams to communicate and collaborate. It also removes the threat of having productivity held up by power outages.

5. Keep up with constantly changing tech.

Finally, technology should be used to update a company’s use of technology in and of itself. Software is in a continual state of development. Savvy business owners must always be on the lookout for ways to increase their company’s productivity through cutting-edge technologies. 

Set up Google alerts for tech within your industry. For example, a retailer can create an alert for “inventory management automation.” This is an excellent way to maintain maximum tech-driven productivity over time.

Evolving Technology Practices

Remain abreast of the latest and the greatest technology practices to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently. This will help fight the current market slump and achieve success regardless of the sluggish state of the industry.

 

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Peter Daisyme is the co-founder of Palo Alto, California-based Hostt, specializing in helping businesses with hosting their website for free, for life. Previously he was the co-founder of Pixloo, a company that helped people sell their homes online, that was acquired in 2012.

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