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August 14, 2017
4 tips to use technology to enhance productivity
Michael Grant

There are numerous factors that impact how well people do their jobs, ranging from the level of financial compensation they receive to the leadership skills of management. While those ‘classic’ productivity drivers are very strong and remain important, it is also possible to use technology to optimise work processes.

Technology creates tangible benefits for businesses in a variety of ways, with some of the most impactful changes seen in the following areas:

Internal and external communication

One of the most obvious applications of technology comes in the communication sphere, with numerous tools for a multimedia exchange already accepted as office mainstays. Managers can use mobile devices to coordinate field workers more effectively and receive direct feedback from retail stores, which allows them to make better decisions. On the other hand, companies can enhance their public image through social media presence and digital PR, while technology can also simplify communication with potential clients and make sales pitches more effective.

Resource sharing and collaboration

In every company, a large portion of resources remains under-utilised due to poor scheduling and interdepartmental rivalries. Wasted resources can be kept to a minimum if they are managed through a central database and allocated based on present needs rather than any predetermined key. Employees can check for availability of shared assets and request their use, while those requests can be handled either automatically or via management. Digital systems can also be used to enable individuals located in different places to function as a team, allowing the company to utilise its human resources with fewer restrictions.

Fast-response actions in real time

The current marketplace demands fast reflexes and companies are trying hard to achieve operational agility that allows them to adapt on the run. A big part of this process involves digitalisation of work process and installation of cameras and motion sensors in key locations to keep track of actions at all times. When decision-makers have continuous input from all key sectors, they are capable to formulate an effective response even on short notice. This can prevent costly failures due to accidents, human errors or equipment malfunctions, ensuring that the company will be able to meet its contractual obligations.

Quality controls and security procedures

Any product that leaves the manufacturing line incomplete or damaged causes issues, as such, high-tech tools for product inspection provides some much-needed consistency. Technological means can also be deployed to protect the product during storage and transportation, effectively reducing the percentage that has to be written off. In the final analysis, that’s the same as increasing basic productivity, only without added pressure on the workforce. For this reason, many companies would be wise to look into the possibilities for automation of certain parts of their manufacturing and delivery processes.

Technology can increase both the physical and psychological comfort of workers, while also having a beneficial impact on work output. This approach has been decisively proven in practice, but it is yet to be adopted by many companies – even major ones. As companies start to understand the obvious benefits, these applications will surely become more commonplace.  

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