“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” — Paul J. Meyer, American motivational speaker
How long does a typical work day last? On average, from 7 to 8 hours. However, the truth is that we actually work less.
The 2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey showed that 69% of employees lost at least some time at work on a daily basis. Moreover, this number continues to increase from year to year.
Why does it happen? There are a lot of different reasons, but internet remains one of the biggest time eaters. It’s hard to imagine a day without answering messages in social networks, checking Twitter news feed or reading emails, right?
“Do you want to make 2018 the most productive year and manage work effortlessly? Switch to ProofHub.”
Modern web-based tools and technology change the way people communicate and collaborate. Fortunately, they can be not only an enemy for our team Productivity, but also a friend. With a number of online software products available today, teams have the opportunity to get work done with minimum time, effort and money loss.
Do team Productivity Tools really make a teamwork more effective or it’s just a marketing buzz? Are there some benefits you don’t know yet? Let’s dive under the hood and find out.
What makes a team productive?
Constant collaboration and communication are two pillars of teamwork. With that in mind, team productivity without balanced roles and clear objectives can have the opposite effect. It doesn’t matter how well your team climbs Mount Everest if you were going to climb Mont Blanc. I mean, team members can do their best to get the job done, but if there is a lack of understanding of their common task, the results will be disappointing.
Effective teamwork should be up, down and across the organization. Employees need to have an opportunity to instantly connect with each other. This task becomes even more challenging when your team includes remote employees. The solution is simple — start using team collaboration tools. According to McKinsey, they improve communication and collaboration among team members and therefore raise the productivity of employees by up to 25 percent. That is why online software is an essential element of every productive team.
Now that you know the key components of team productivity, it’s time to talk about problems that can stand in the way of building a productive team.
What challenges of team productivity companies face?
Chances are, team members know the answer to this question. In-office and remote employees are surrounded by different time wasters which affect the result of their work. Tones of emails, futile conversations, non-work-related internet browsing… And the list goes on.
Mistakes in task management, as well as insufficient team communication, kill productivity more than anything else. What about statistics? 40% of employees spend one quarter of their week completing routine tasks. This wouldn’t happen if they used the right task management software. Besides, a team of 100 people spends about 7 hours a week to overcome problems caused by misunderstandings between employees. As a result, about $37 billion go to dealing with communication issues every year.
If you are afraid that something threatens your team productivity or, what is worse, completely confident in that, take a closer look at online tools your co-workers are using now.
Why use team productivity tools?
The work-related communication may never end: when you work in a team, you probably stay in touch 24/7. In such a rhythm it’s highly recommended to optimize the schedule and make the workflow as streamlined as possible. Good news is that we live in the 21st century (hurray!) and there are a plenty of tools for planning, controlling team tasks progress, sorting emails. Applications can be found for every need of super-busy team members.
When people say ‘team productivity tools’, they actually mean every online software which can boost team performance. Team chat and video conferencing apps, time tracking and project management tools — all this software improves and fosters the way people collaborate. Thus, tasks are performed more quickly and team productivity grows.
It goes without saying that employees use video conferencing tools for video calls and task manager for tasks. Nevertheless, I would like to draw your attention to values of team productivity tools which can be not quite so obvious to their users.
Transforming collaboration with Artificial Intelligence
Nowadays everybody talks about the Artificial Intelligence (AI), but it’s very hard to predict the consequences of its development. Sure, we are far away from the imitation of human intelligence. At the same time, AI products like chatbots or intelligent voice assistants are already available. As the main task of AI is not to overrun the Earth, but enhance employees’ productivity, 39% of companies started using some aspect of AI at work.
Startups already play with AI to find new ways for people to collaborate. Artificial Intelligence will take over boring daily tasks so that people spend their day more productive. For example, Chanty AI-powered team chat learns to bring key takeaways from discussions you’ve missed while the Clara system offers an intelligent, 24/7 available assistant for all daily routine like sending emails or scheduling events.
Getting rid of huge heaps of emails with organized communication
A lot of people are addicted to email as a form of daily communication with colleagues. Luckily, there are more convenient ways to exchange information and documents.
MailTime.com new survey of 1,500 people proved that the majority of employees (52%) who send a work-related email expect a reply within 12 and 24 hours. Let’s assume that it’s too long to wait. Even if you don’t need an urgent reply, email evidently fails as a tool for effective conversations. By the way, it’s not the only reason why you should think over another way of communication with team members.
Emails slow employees down causing an overload of business and personal information. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they are important or not. That is why people waste time reading emails to make sure they don’t miss anything. Moreover, it’s easy to lose an important email or find it in spam. Apart from that, you can get a message and just forget about it after receiving hundreds of emails a day.
The other problem is that email threads are very hard to manage and keep all information under control. So, it’s time to move work-related conversations to team chat apps designed for improving teams’ productivity and communication. Real-time notifications report on new messages so that team members always stay informed. Moreover, searchable message history makes finding necessary documents extremely easy.
Anyway, if you can’t avoid looking through emails, become an inbox ninja. Integrate your inbox with the team chat tool and live in peace.
Single notification center
It’s no secret that technology made our life much easier. Applications let users track almost any information they are interested in. On the other hand, if there are too many tools, it’s easy to get distracted and confused.
The key to working more effectively is to get your productivity tools working in tandem, but not taking your time. However, the more tools you use, the more time you spend switching between apps in fear to miss something. So, you need a tracker for all your tools — a single center for all incoming notifications.
Tools like Zapier or PieSync let you connect apps you use and all alerts come into one place you choose. Moreover, you can find a team messenger or all-in-one project management tool which integrates with other apps you need.
Team productivity tools let people stay connected from both their laptop and mobile phone. In the office or on the go, they will always get the latest information and be able to communicate, assign tasks, share ideas, thoughts, and files.
Moreover, people can not only collaborate across the globe but respect each team member’s time zone. There are a lot of time zone converters and chatbots which help to better understand coworkers and be available when needed. It’s especially important when it comes to setting deadlines and scheduling video meetings.
Team productivity faces a lot of obstacles during the work day. Thankfully, today there’s an ocean of different team productivity tools out there. They not only perform their core functions like instant text messaging or tracking the time spent on tasks, they change the way people collaborate.
Productivity tools keep employees informed, bringing all the work of entire team under one roof. This software is especially important if team members are located in different offices or work remotely. Today, employees from Argentina can be easily hired in Indonesia, as geographical limits are disappearing thanks to different team productivity apps.
Want to use your time efficiently? Choose productivity tools that will work best for your team, considering all their values. If you find the software that will satisfy team members’ needs in collaboration and communication, productivity will become the best friend of your team forever.
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Hidden Values Of Team Productivity Tools was originally published in ProofHub Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.