How to Use Technology to Improve Work Efficiency
Technology has had to keep abreast of recent changes to the working environment caused by the covid pandemic. Key examples are office workers who have been working from their homes to avoid the spread of the virus, the self-employed who carry out their work in offices around the globe, and students who have been compelled to study online. Two other areas where technology has enabled new models involve software developments to decrease cumbersome manual processes and those that enable employees, clients, and customers to overcome language barriers. Then there are the technological advances that have improved the in-office efficiencies. We look at the technologies that have increased efficiencies in each of these settings.
Working In a Traditional Office Setting
Technology has focused on improving efficiencies in the traditional office setting. A survey indicated that 62% of managers engaged in at least three manual processes where software could decrease inefficiencies by eight hours a week. This software addresses financial management and budgetary control, project management, and business intelligence that assists with analysis and reporting. For the company as a whole, there is software for customer relationship management, supply chain management, human resource management, and online end-to-end sales capability.
It has been estimated that disruptions at work and the time taken to get back your focus can amount to six hours lost out of an eight-hour day for the average employee. This is not work-efficient. Luckily, there are products like the Luxafor flag – a tool that informs others in your office that you are engaged with work and should not be disturbed using a red light display. Times, when workers are accessible to colleagues for work-related discussions, are shown with a green light. Other flags can be programmed for breaks, meetings, or any other slots the manager selects.
Working from Home
The covid pandemic has resulted in many employees being allowed to work from home. Zoom has replaced physical meetings. Employees can stop their current tasks, connect, participate in a meeting, and quickly resume their work. This reduces time wasted with travelling to conference sites and the associated costs, such as catering. Internet speeds have improved, and employees have options such as mobile hot spots and home internet that can be used for connectivity. Files can be uploaded and shared via the cloud.
These tools also assist independent workers like freelancers to conduct their business functions from home. It has been projected that by 2027, 60% of the workforce will be independent. These self-employed workers benefit from technology to increase efficiency such as time trackers that create timesheets that let them know where they are wasting time or being productive.
Digital nomads are people who have the technological resources to work from anywhere in the world. They are self-employed, often European, and choose to live and work in different places. iDgital nomads use software such as a virtual network connection to access the internet.
For example, Malta, a very popular destination for digital nomads, has made provisions for digital nomads who fit these groups: they work for an employer abroad, they are shareholders or partners for a business that is registered in another country, and they are self-employed and service clients from foreign countries. Eligibility criteria include being a Third Country National (TCN), having the telecommunications technology to work from any location, and earning a gross monthly income of €2,700 minimum plus 20% for each family member that resides with them. They must prove that they stay in a Maltese residential property and must have a valid passport. A digital Malta nomad visa is very different from a residential program. A residence program requires the applicant to purchase a property as means of qualifying for residency.
The bare minimum technology needed for working from home is a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. E-readers are also useful, but one of the best inventions for people who spend a lot of time on teleconferences is the smart pen. It allows written text to be digitalized and records audio. When an employee highlights a portion of digitalized text, it replays the associated audio. Recorded audio can be uploaded to apps such as Google Docs. These technological advances have made working from home easier and employees more productive.
Language Barrier Software
For businesspeople working in foreign countries, it is necessary to acquire some basic skills in the new language. Technology provides online training and translation apps for this purpose. Many are available at no cost. They permit the rapid acquisition of language skills so that employees can focus on work efficiently.
For example, Open Culture is a free resource for learning languages online as if you had a private tutor. Pronunciation is taught. The software is available in 40 languages. Memrise is another free language tool that uses flashcards and quizzes. Its downside is the lack of grammar tutoring but it covers virtually any language. Speak &Translate has a free version and allows the user to translate speech. Its accuracy is good and covers regional variations in accents and slang as well.
To sum up
With ongoing and increasing globalization, it has become necessary for technology to reduce barriers to doing business anywhere in the world. This may be a home office or a destination abroad. With this need in effect already, technology continues to evolve to keep up with the requirements of all types of workers.
LUXAFOR HELPS PEOPLE TO ACHIEVE THEIR GREATEST PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF OFFICE PRODUCTS. LET’S BE PRODUCTIVE TOGETHER!