Are you looking for ways of improving employee productivity, while boosting motivation, incentive, and engagement?
We once assumed that the modern workplace would be one that freed us up. But thousands of emails, hundreds of miles of needless travelling, and office-bound staff have, in many cases, ground productivity to a slow, rather unengaged trot.
We need a gallop.
There are many advantages of using interactive technologies in business. So, we’re going to explore some solutions to the problems of early 21st-century working practices, gearing your team up to get them right back into the saddle of productivity.
Read on to discover how to improve employee productivity by incorporating interactive technologies into your workplace.
Alternatives to email
Email was supposed to revolutionise how we worked and communicated. And for a while, it did. And then it didn’t. Projects run by email become impossible to track and follow.
User interfaces of most email applications just haven’t adapted to how we need to use them.
Email grinds productivity to a halt.
Enter Project Management Tools.
Project Management Tools
Project Management Tools (or PMTs) help to streamline teams; boosting productivity in unprecedented ways.
They help project managers keep adrift of team activity, but they also help to synchronise the work stream so that everyone knows when their deadlines are.
The most commonly found features of PMTs include:
- KPI dashboards – in real time!
- Message boards and discussion forums (maintaining a clear timeline of all communications)
- Secure file sharing and storage
- In-app email and desktop notifications
- Shared calendars for entire teams, sub-teams, and individuals
- Shared meeting schedules
- Billing tools such as time trackers
- Project progress reporting
But PMTs don’t end there.
They extend the accessibility of your entire workforce: freeing up your colleagues for more agile approaches to working.
Because PMTs are securely accessible from any internet browser, you can help your workforce improve their productivity by providing the freedom to work from home: transferring commuting time into productive time; integrating family duties into more flexible hours; and, ultimately, keeping everyone connecting in real-time so that they maintain a sense of team.
Some great PMTs that we love are:
We’ve all been in meetings that zap the very life-blood out of the soul of every participant in the room.
We’ve all been in planning sessions where the vision of a project fails to deliver a unified message to everyone in the room.
We’ve all been in consultations where it’s felt anything but – no interaction and no input.
Life’s too short for rubbish meetings.
And time is money.
Interactive displays offer a whole new world of shared vision, boosting collaboration in meetings and development sessions.
Some interactive displays work natively with Windows 10 and the Surface Hub – so that everyone in the room is connected to a single device for displaying, creating, and debating.
Some also work natively with Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, stepping collaboration up in unparalleled ways.
Interactive displays allow remote workers to join group meetings by displaying them on the screen while using stereo speakers, far-field microphone technology, and integrated 4K cameras to make the group meeting experience as real as them being present in the room.
Cut down on travel, increase connectivity, and boost employee productivity.
It might sound like a made-up word (it is – a portmanteau, as it were) but gamification is all the rage in manufacturing. Interactive technologies on factory floors allow workers to monitor their own progress and work towards incentives by meeting targets and quality standards.
The same is entirely possible in business – incorporating a little of the natural inclination to compete, and turning it into a game that increases productivity and employee engagement.
You could use KPIs as milestones, helping your entire team work more collaboratively, helping each other meet targets by offering incentives for the highest performers or groups.
Incentives don’t have to be financial, of course – although everyone loves a bonus.
You could incentivise milestones with points that go towards a total with a prize:
- offer nights out as rewards
- family day trips
- extra time off
- early finishes
- league tables to coincide with sporting events or big competitions
Gamification focuses, homogenises, and incentivises employees to produce their best work to meet higher standards.
Discussion platforms integrate secure alternatives to email, video conferencing, VOIP services, and real-time text chat, over mobile and desktop technologies; boosting productivity from multiple, accessible portals.
Of course, sometimes there’s nothing like picking up the phone and having a chat – but is that always the most productive way of communicating?
Consider how much of each telephone conversation is office banter and intro?
Although this makes life more personable in the office – and there’s always a place for that in productive environments – sometimes online messengers are just more efficient.
Sure, people can still engage in idle chit-chat on messenger services and discussion forums; but they’re less likely to do so because it feels more of a business resource than a social one.
We recommend communication apps such as:
They offer a wide range of services such as:
- Project-specific discussion threads
- Social media-like interfaces
- Video calls
- Integrated file sharing
- Screen sharing
- Voice calls
- Group and individual chat rooms
Interactive technologies help your employees improve their productivity by making agile and remote working a genuine possibility. When work requires so much of our time, we should do what we can to make that time efficient so that rest becomes a valuable reward for a job well done.
Natalie Harris-Briggs is the VP of Marketing at Avocor. She is an expert in the technology & audio industry with over 20 years’ experience working in sales and marketing for some of the world’s biggest brands. She has a passion for helping companies grow and introducing new technologies on a global scale. You can follow her here: https://twitter.com/natalieharris77.