Most professionals check their email or chat apps every six minutes, and 41% feel that they’re constantly bombarded by digital alerts. That’s the paradox of technology in the workplace—the more powerful your digital tools, the likelier they are to turn into a distraction or a source of mental overload. These days, it’s common for chat apps, video conferencing tools, email, analytics platforms, and similar tech tools to do more harm to your productivity than good. If you’re nodding your head knowingly, you might also be thinking, “Okay, but what can we actually do about that?”
Here are three powerful ways to make your tech work for you—not against you.
1. Get 100% of the Team to Use the Same Communication Apps
According to a 2017 study, 43% of professionals say they have to switch between too many apps to get basic work done, and 74% are using at least five apps at any given time. 100% adoption of a single communication platform will almost always fix this problem because most app-switching happens between collaboration apps.
Many leaders make the same mistake when they try to simplify communication—they introduce a new tool without ensuring its company-wide adoption.
For example, they’ll announce, “We’re switching from Google Hangouts to GlobalMeet,” but they’ll continue to communicate with some employees using Google Hangouts, thereby tolerating—and even encouraging—partial adoption of the new tool. That mistake is exactly how even the most feature-rich tool can end up making employees less productive, not more. Instead of simplifying communication, the new app ends up making their digital workspace even more crowded.
Don’t do this to your team. Instead, commit to a communication system and make sure the whole company uses it.
2. Provide Analog Tools
Many professionals like to use whiteboards, notepads, and printed materials to reduce distraction. So, don’t take that option away from your employees! Make sure there’s enough printer paper. Make yellow pads easy to come by. Provide pens.
Making analog tools available has one core benefit: it fights the perception that your company’s culture is all about staying glued to a screen. There’s plenty of great work that can get done off-screen. And getting that off-screen time can reduce fatigue and make people’s digital workflows more productive.
3. Block Out Time to Automate Digital Tasks
In 2018, McKinsey found that automation in HR, finance, and IT divisions could help companies achieve 10% cost savings within 18-24 months, and 30% over the longer term. Automation is also extremely valuable for individuals.
People drag their feet in this area because they’re constantly playing catch-up, and it takes time to find the right automation tools and implement them. However, you’ll be doing less catch-up if you can eliminate some of the mundane tasks with the right tools.
So, put aside time on your calendar to implement automation—you’ll thank yourself later.
We’re experts in making tech tools work for companies and not against them. That’s why 100 million people are currently using our collaboration and video conferencing tools to get more done faster every single day.