New technologies are helping automate mundane tasks, replacing the need for humans to participate in disconnected, repetitive activities. As development accelerates, with new tools continuously entering the market, experts believe that advanced technology, with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), will not only replace repetitive tasks but also make employees more productive and help make teams more efficient.

In the workplace, technology can improve employee outcomes, mitigate communication gaps, and further streamline the flow of work among individuals and within multiple teams.

Technology’s role in productivity is crucial across various business sectors and into the broader economy. Technology is reshaping how people work, companies communicate, and people share information, breaking down barriers and introducing advanced solutions that are helping pave the way toward the digital frontier.

How technology is reshaping measures of productivity

Modern devices that improve individual and team-centered productivity can range from physical hardware – computers, smartphones, tablets – to software protocols – cloud technology, cybersecurity infrastructure, and digital calendars. These all contribute towards the larger success of how technology has helped us rethink and reshape our daily lives both within the workplace and without.

Improves time management & project planning

One thing technology has helped improve and continues to do is the facilitation of proper time management and strategic planning of tasks and projects. Digital tools such as an online calendar, for example, can be used across multiple devices and create various digital touch points of accessibility.

With the right systems in place, teams can now stay ahead of their priorities, track their progress, revise team planning notes, and collaborate more effectively.

Establishes direct & open communication channels

Communication within the organizational structure is more than instant messaging being sent via a team workspace such as Google Teams or Slack. With cloud technology, teams can now access valuable information from anywhere, removing any physical barriers, and further enabling them to have an open communication channel among themselves.

Content management platforms help employees share content ideas on one secure platform, while another can help them organize their quarterly planning, reports, and goals under one umbrella and without the need for multiple platforms.

Improves data analysis and collaboration

Data has become one of the most valuable assets for any organization. This information enables them to better understand market trends, customer demands, scope competitor performance, and better plan for the future.

With the right data, teams can create more tailored solutions, and ensure efficient customer engagement through the appropriate touch points. By building a robust data strategy, organizations can harvest and store necessary information that helps them make more informed, data-driven decisions allowing for accurate application of both short and long-term planning.

Improves personal and team goal-setting

Finding success with technology requires each individual to use digital tools to their best advantage, and one of them is through its agility to act as a dynamic solution for setting and achieving goals.

Some 90 percent of business leaders believe that using technology will help improve their organization’s outcome and boost team performance, according to one digital survey conducted by Deloitte.

That would mean that within an organization, teams can use digital devices such as smartphones to create to-do lists, set up reminders of important dates and meetings, leverage planning applications to collaborate more effectively, and use computer software to help them engage with both customers and colleagues more openly.

Allows teams to create digital blueprints

Depending on each team and company’s needs, certain technology can be leveraged to assist employees in creating digital blueprints for projects and further enable cross-collaboration between different departments and organizations.

For instance, in the construction industry, software protocols such as Bluebeam can help architects, engineers, and construction teams connect office and field work through reliable, single-source files.

Each team member would have access to the project, enabling them to track progress, find potential gaps, and mitigate costly mistakes at any given moment. This sort of technology gives organizations a bird’ s-eye view of their projects before, during, and after completion.

Optimizes workflow

During much of the pandemic and several years after that, companies have continued allowing employees to work from home or on a hybrid basis. With employees located at different locations at any given moment, reliability on software and technology was one of the most important investments many organizations made during those early years.

Now, several years later, the technology used during the early years of the pandemic is still being applied within organizations to help improve productivity and minimize the need to repeat mundane activities.

For instance, automated report generators can help employees efficiently create and share reports within minutes. Productivity apps, such as Trello, Asana, or online digital calendars, are platforms where employees can share information at any time and from anywhere in the world without having to utilize traditional methods such as email.

Instead of relying on the clunky technology of previous generations, organizations are finding workable methods that help minimize mundane activities but streamline the flow of work and projects from the beginning to the end and towards the customer.

Facilitates learning and development

Frequent training has become one of the most in-demand benefits among younger employees. In fact, one employee survey found that around 80 percent of workers believe that occurring training is more important than formal workplace training. Even more, in the same poll, 91 percent of workers said that they want their training to be personalized and relevant to their experience and job duties.

Technology can help facilitate employee training incentives, enabling teams to access advanced, tailored training sessions personalized to their specific needs and preferred learning styles.

By investing in the appropriate technology and fostering a culture of continuous learning and development within organizations, companies invest in their employees, their skills, and overall performance. This will help them reflect on their work and the effectiveness of their roles.

Promotes data-driven solutions and problem-solving

Data can be important for many things. However, for a company looking to expand into a new market or release a new product line, data metrics can usually help them determine their short—and long-term strategies and develop more data-driven solutions to mitigate risks.

More than this, data becomes a valuable source of information for companies aiming to improve customer efficiency and engagement and drive satisfaction. By using credible sources or conducting studies to understand better the customer market, an organization can improve its communication channels, develop more touch points for frequent customer interaction, or better understand the direction in which market trends will develop.

By incorporating data strategies into their problem-solving, companies can be sure that they are deploying more accurate metrics that will benefit the company in the long term but ultimately bring customers closer to having more accurate solutions and streamline engagement among employees and clients.

How to use technology for improved productivity

While technology plays a vital role in the day-to-day activities of employees and teams within the workplace, implementing unique protocols and strategies can help ensure that employees leverage the full capabilities of digital tools and establish best practices that can promote a healthy relationship between work and tech.

Provide training

Introducing new technology without proper training can only further derail an organization’s short—and long-term strategies. Ensuring employees have received the necessary training or continually have access to the right resources will help them develop new skills and become more informed about any organizational changes.

Communicate goals and objectives

Using technology without a goal can lead to bigger long-term problems and potentially threaten project success. Instead, make sure that each team member is informed about the technology’s near-term goals and how these digital tools will help improve their work and productivity.

Develop ethical use protocols

Access to so much data and information often requires companies to have ethical use policies for employees. By keeping employees informed about ethical use practices and how technology can benefit their work, the company will help establish clear guidance between the right and wrong ways of using technology in the workplace.

Invest in the right digital tools

Make sure that the tools you have are the tools you need. Conduct thorough research beforehand to determine the tools you will require and whether these tools provide you with the agility and personalization your team desires.

Consider cybersecurity essentials

Forty-three percent of data breaches involved a small business, according to Netwrix Research Lab’s 2023 Hybrid Security Trends Report. Cybersecurity helps to safeguard valuable information and ensures that sensitive data does not end up in the wrong hands. More than this, cybersecurity infrastructure helps to protect employees and customers against any threats or malicious attacks.

Consider customers and the market

When planning a digital transformation, consider these tools and applications’ impact on customers. This is especially important considering that not every company shares the same target audience, although overlapping is often a common occurrence. Make sure that the tools you’ll be using are beneficial to the customers as well, and can help improve customer engagement and provide more accurate, tailored solutions.

The negative impact of technology on improved productivity

Despite the importance of technology, there are certain drawbacks to consider when looking to boost office productivity and company output.

Cybersecurity Concerns

Digital protection is one of the biggest, and perhaps most costly implications of onboarding more digital tools in the workplace. In 2022, businesses spent on average 9.9% of their IT budgets on cybersecurity, although this estimate has likely risen over the last two years as cyber threats become an increasing problem for both public and private enterprises, including government organizations.

Insufficient resources

The inability to provide team members with the necessary tools and resources to master new technology can come at the expense of the company’s productivity. Investing in technology involves having to develop a near-term strategy for helping employees learn and equip themselves with the necessary skills to overcome any challenges or barriers.

Overreliance creates burdens

We’ve entered a time where our reliance on technology has far surpassed our needs. Companies nowadays make more use of digital tools than several years ago and for nearly everything. From customer engagement to reporting and even communication, technology can create an overreliance which can become a burden among teams that are not able to function or complete work without the right tools.

High cost

Nothing comes cheap. Corporations are spending millions of dollars each year on high-tech digital solutions, however, unfortunately, smaller enterprises are not often ready to embark on such a costly financial endeavor, often causing a decrease in productivity on their end, and falling behind their competitors.

Data and privacy concerns

Another consideration is the importance of data and privacy compliance, which usually requires an organization to keep track of new data protection laws and implement the necessary financial resources to develop a proper privacy compliance protocol. Having too much visibility over consumer and employee data can cause bigger concerns among workers and deteriorate collaborative relationships between businesses and professionals.

Information overload

Digitization sees us being connected all of the time. In one research study, information overload was cited as being one of the most frequent stressors by 22.5 percent of respondents. Having access to all of this technology requires a lot of personal energy and often occupies mental capacity, leading to factors such as feeling stressed, overworked, and burned out.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the good, the bad, and the ugly of digital technology have driven us to continuously develop new, more advanced solutions for all our most frequent problems. Using technology requires enterprises to balance technological needs and the necessary human intervention.

By considering the needs of employees, customers, and the business, organizational leaders can develop a digital transformation strategy that emphasizes people first and technology second.

With the right tools, resources, and human ingenuity, companies can begin building toward a digital transformation that will see technology working in line with employee needs and the broader goals of teams. Before taking on new technology, invest in employees and consider how digital tools, applications, and software will help boost an enterprise’s business objectives and allow it to scale by overcoming its most significant challenges.

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Featured Image Credit: Photo by Karolina Grabowska; Pexels