Our Need for Speed: Making Tech Work for Our Productivity

Mobile Man / Friday, December 11, 2015

We work at a faster rate than ever before, but are we making the most of our time spent working? Find out how advanced technology can help productivity take off.

Productivity is one of the major concerns facing businesses today. Being able to increase productivity is a win-win scenario, turning an average company into a great one; a good employee into a superstar. It makes sense, then, that companies want to be as productive as possible. You don’t have to search very long or hard to find claims of secret tricks to make your business ‘more productive’, but what does it actually take to increase your productivity? To answer that question, we need to first understand what productivity means. By definition of the Business Dictionary, productivity is:

“A measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory or system in converting inputs to useful outputs.”

The most common trail of thought would be, to presume that to increase productivity, you simply need to work more. However, as many reports have shown, working for a large amount of hours actually sees a decrease in productivity. On the contrary, we’re now seeing more and more people starting to neglect the 40-hour week. Some areas in Sweden, for example, have begun practicing a 6-hour per day, 30-hour week.

Source - as of Nov. 2015

With all 7 countries above still ranging between a 40 to 45-hour work week, we can see we’re not likely to be leaving the office at 3pm any time soon. Looking at how the above countries rank though, and we see France – who introduced a standard 35-hour working week back in 2000 – ranked above countries such as the UK, Australia and Italy, where employees work more on average per week.

Speed, not stamina

So now we know everyone isn’t likely to cut their working day by 25%, a better analogy of productivity might be to work smarter, not work more. How do you work smarter? By getting more out of the time you spend at work. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get jacked up on 5 coffees before lunch; there is technology out there to help us speed up around the workplace. Tech can let you work smarter by giving you the means to get more done in the same time frame as you would have before.

How can it help me?

Unsure how exactly tech can speed up your work rate? Well for one, you’ve probably got one method in your pocket right now. Mobile working has completely changed the scope of productivity in the workplace, and like always, applications are constantly emerging to build further upon it. Below are 5 features that can take your productivity to the next level.

Work anywhere, any time

Global mobile traffic grew 69 percent in 2014, and that number is only going to rise. It is becoming more and more acceptable to do work on your mobile device. What began as an easier way to check your emails or add dates to your calendar now sees the whole Microsoft productivity suite available on smartphones and tablets. Certain apps also boast offline working, meaning you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to continue being productive. Mobile, offline working allows you to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (not that we’d expect you to, of course!)

Constant communication

Also brought around by the mobile revolution is the ability to be able to reach your coworkers at all times. With the boom in social media and changes to the way we interact online, it seems like a long time ago that email was the one and only source of communication in the workplace. Tools such as Yammer, Slack, jive etc. bring the social aspect to the enterprise, providing a host of productivity features packaged in the familiar style of social giant Facebook.

Use your intelligence

From one enterprise trend to another, Big Data, Business Intelligence (BI) and Advanced Analytics can be the source of huge productivity earnings for companies. We are creating more data than ever, which is a good thing if you know how to harness it. From customer buying habits to healthcare, data analytics gives you tons of potential to make more informed decisions. Tools such as ReportPlus, let you visualize said data to create and share key metrics with your team.

Find everything you need

Following our trend of accessing everything, everywhere, are search functionalities. In a platform such as SharePoint, where productivity is at the heart of it all, the wider the scope of your search, the better. SharePoint 2016 is introducing hybrid search, and will use the power of the Cloud to make local file searching much more intelligent. Making file storage essentially a non-factor, Cloud-powered searching allows users to intelligently search both local resources and the Cloud simultaneously. In platforms such as Office 365, this means Delve can be used to make finding relevant data much more easy. It’s not difficult to imagine the impact that this can have on productivity.

Stay secure

Productivity can take a step in the wrong direction when the security of your content is at risk. And if you think that high-level security is harder to come by on mobile devices than desktop, you wouldn’t be alone. However, mobile devices can possess a host of security features to protect your data with in-built hardware encryption. Features such as remote data wiping, passcode locks, permission-based access and authentication time bombs ensure your work is always safe, which means you don’t have to spend time worrying about it!

Productivity pays

It has always paid to be productive, now more than ever. Platforms such as SharePoint are doing everything they can to raise productivity levels. However, with so many workers to account for (over 80% of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint) there are always going to be some areas to improve.

SharePlus allows you to achieve far more with SharePoint by providing  offline access, mobile, social integration and more, SharePlus just might be the productivity boost you and your company have been looking for and help satisfy our undoubted, Need for Speed!