By: Kevin Gardner
Technology is inherently linked to employee health and happiness, not just improving productivity. Here are five ways technology can improve employee productivity and happiness in the workplace.
1. Improved Security
Cybersecurity can be a source of stress at any organization. If a breach occurs, there can be a high-pressure scramble to address and fix the situation, protect data or retrieve data. It can be even more stressful right now with so many employees working remotely. If someone has to work from public Wi-Fi, he or she may be nervous about accessing secure information. If you train employees on cybersecurity and provide multiple layers of security, such as firewalls, multi-factor authentication and VPN access, stress levels can be greatly reduced. For example, MFA solutions make business applications and data much more difficult for hackers to access, which can help employees feel their information and the company's data are safer.
2. Easier Remote Work
Working remotely has become increasingly common and has reached record numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic. While many employees will likely be able to return to onsite work, the increase in remote work situations is probably here to stay, with many people liking the idea of working onsite part of the week and remotely the rest of the week. This setup provides flexibility, comfort and greater control of the workspace, all of which can improve mood and productivity. You should incorporate technology that improves the remote work experience. Ensure that employees can communicate effectively via text and video chat. Make it easier to both access and secure data in intranet or cloud storage. It can be frustrating when you work remotely and you experience technical issues, so you also need to develop a robust IT team and incorporate strong IT information to help employees troubleshoot simpler issues on their own.
3. Improved Collaboration
Technology can greatly improve collaboration when used correctly. It's essential to provide employees with multiple tools to communicate and collaborate effectively. Introduce chat features so employees can communicate quickly even if they prefer not to hop on a phone call or don't have the ability to go visit a coworker's workspace. Leverage virtual meeting software and virtual note-taking technology to help teams communicate, collaborate and brainstorm as well as they would in in-person meetings. Leveraging improved collaboration technology can reduce frustration and confusion, which makes employees feel more involved, happier and like their input matters. It also ensures the project is completed within its scheduled time frame.
4. Minimize Repetitive Tasks
Sometimes, employees feel their true talents aren't being tapped. An employee can feel like he or she is spending the whole day on repetitive tasks such as answering emails or addressing analyzing data. Technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and even digital calendars can automate these tasks and minimize the time an employee must spend doing them. You can teach a machine learning program to perform data analytics and take over data entry. An employee can set some do-not-disturb time on his or her email calendar. This strategy can provide an employee with the ability to focus on creative or delicate tasks with the guarantee of not being disturbed by day-to-day tasks.
5. More Control of Time Management
Finding ways for employees to be in control of their time management can decrease the pressure to always be "on" and available, even outside working hours. It can also help employees feel more in control of their workloads. While managers shouldn't simply allow employees free reign of their hours, making time management a joint effort can greatly improve collaboration and trust. Incorporate time management technology such as time tracker apps and to-do lists. Make sure employees and managers discuss flex time, overtime and PTO regularly.
When your employees are happy and feel safe and in control of their work environments, their productivity and the quality of their work greatly improve. The technology at their disposal should be the best kind to optimize their work, which will support their health and happiness.
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