Sample Technology Paper on How to Use Technology to Boost Productivity at the Office

Low productivity at the office can significantly affect the performance of an organization. The employees are not motivated towards success. As a consequence, the organization experiences inefficiencies that may eventually affect customer service. The U.S Labour of Statistics reports that there has been a considerable decline in productivity since 2007. How can this be so in light of innovative technologies such as smartphones?

Low levels of productivity at the workplace are majorly the outcome of internal issues. It is not a matter of eliminating technology from the mix. There are employers who feel that eliminating technology can boost productivity. Conversely, the reality is more complicated than that. The issue is not using or using technology. Rather, the question is, are you using the right technology?

Workplace structures such as the use of office cubes that isolate employees, or the existence of disconnected departments that have a silo mentality are all factors that can work against you. It up to the employer to identify the internal issues that affect productivity and work towards developing a structure and culture that promotes productivity.

Technology can be a friend in the battle against low productivity. It can be used to connect employees, enhance workplace experience and achieve efficiency in terms of operation. If you seek to transform your employees to an agile workforce, then technology is the sure way to go.

How technology boosts Productivity

Technology is integral in the development of a flexible working environment. Soft wares that allow online document sharing as well as web and video conferencing, and instant messaging enhance flexibility in the workplace. Such technologies eliminate the need for a daily 9 to 5 schedule. Employees get to work from home which may be more convenient for them. Similarly, the company gets to cut on overhead costs as the employees are equipped with technology that allows them to work remotely.

In a two year study by Stanford University conducted by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom in partnership with China’s largest travel agency, Ctrip, the researchers proved that the working from home option can boost productivity. When Ctrip adopted technologies that help its employees to work remotely, the company recorded a 50% decline in employee attrition in a span of nine months. Ctrip experienced a 13% boost in productivity within the same period as well as 22% reduction in overhead costs. There were fewer breaks and sick days as work satisfaction soared.

Technology transforms your employees to an agile workforce that is geared towards success. This is because technology allows for automation of processes such as billing, scheduling, and management of contacts. Through the use of the right technology, a firm ensures efficiency in terms of workflow. Applications such as Slack, or Flock offer handy solutions that allow team collaboration. Slack, for example, allows employees to engage in direct messaging and form group channels. This technology allows employees to collaborate on team projects and in project management more efficiently via the online platform. There are many more task-management soft wares and cloud-based solutions catered to meet your needs. Therefore, the task is up to you to identify which areas in your operations require a boost in productivity. For every area that you identify, you can rest assured that there is a technological solution to meet that need.

Technology and Agile Working to Boost Productivity

Currently, modern organizations are seeking to incorporate agile working practices in a bid to cut costs and boost productivity. Agile working refers to the prioritization of performance rather than mere presenteeism. The agile organization works towards developing trust-based relationships and innovative practices instead of holding on to bureaucracies or hierarchies. Making this transformation involves the use of technology in a manner that empowers employees.

In 2013, the Chief Executive of CIPD, Peter Cheese stated that agile working leads to higher levels of employee engagement and wellbeing, which in turn has a positive impact on workplace productivity. Agile working requires careful planning. This entails having a clear understanding of the firm’s culture and developing a clear vision of where the organization wants to be through moving to agile working. The culture change starts from the leaders. The organization’s leaders need to be informed of how the transformation to an agile workplace positively contributes to productivity. The archaic thoughts that flexibility is only reserved for top officials should be discounted. More and more employees are demanding for flexibility in the workplace. Making the change not only contributes to work satisfaction but also attracts talented employees who can contribute towards the growth of the firm.

Flexibility through the use of IT is the ‘new normal’ in the modern business environment. Therefore, management has the task of evaluating whether the firm is ready to embrace this new normal by determining whether they have the necessary IT capabilities to support an agile workforce. Management needs to:

  • Conduct an audit of the firm’s current working practices
  • Conduct staff surveys to determine the employees perceptions and the overall company culture
  • Determine the firm’s priorities and whether they are suitable for the agile working strategy
  • Develop an agile working policy
  • Engage in agile training to prepare the staff for an agile working environment that harnesses the benefits of IT.
  • Identify HR and legal implications associated with agile working options.
  • Identify communications and culture change strategies that will help the organization maximize their use of IT and adoption of agile working practices.

Concluding Remarks:

The best way to boost productivity in the workplace is to seek efficiency. Consider how the firm is operating and be open to the possibility and potential of changing the way you operate. There is a considerable hype on the shift from 9 to 5 to an agile working organization. This hype is not in vain as entrepreneurial giants and research cite agile working practices as effective solutions towards enhancing performance. An agile workplace requires an effective use technology. This includes identifying areas that are inefficient in your operations and incorporating technologies that will enhance efficiency. Have a clear goal of what you would like to see in the organization and make technology your ally towards achieving this change.