With “Business as Usual” Gone, Leaders Lean Into Technology
For business owners, staying flexible and future-focused can help retain talent and promote productivity in this challenging environment.
A crisis often spurs innovation to adapt to changing circumstances – and that has certainly been the case this year. Technology is the underpinning of the new work environment: The office goes wherever you are. Consider transitioning to more cloud-based services and group messaging apps. We’re already seeing the meteoric rise of videoconferencing via Zoom, Skype or Webex. CRM software such as SalesForce and productivity tools such as Office 365 are also in high demand.
Working from home is working well
A recent survey by global research and advisory firm Gartner found that 74% of chief financial officers expect to move at least 5% of previously on-site employees to remote positions post-COVID-19.
“It’s fair to say that working remotely is part of the new normal. Many workers may spend a few days in the office, but work from home the remainder of the time,” said Scott Steinberg, president and CEO of BIZDEV. This can help you attract and retain top talent, particularly millennials who are comfortable with technology. Focus on creating an atmosphere of trust that will empower your employees, but, at the same time, hold them accountable for their output at the end of the day.
According to articles in Forbes and The New York Times, many employees are actually seeing productivity increase while working remotely because there are fewer distractions, less commuting time and an overall improvement in morale. Of course, that means first resolving any issues such as poor internet connectivity, inefficient home computers and a lack of access to job-related resources. Be sure you’re supporting your employees by providing the technology they need.
You may find it helpful to consult your advisor for guidance on budgeting for upgraded tech tools or exploring the challenges of accommodating a remote workforce.
Time-tested productivity-producing practices
To increase your own productivity, consider these time-proven tips that have been around for decades.
- Use a daily planner. Write down and prioritize what you want to achieve and create a specific plan for each goal.
- Set aside blocks of time for reading and responding to email. While it’s tempting to check your email every time you receive an alert, it’s highly inefficient to do so.
- Cut back on the number of meetings. Preparing for meetings can take a huge amount of time, further compounded by the number of people involved.
- Delegate to your team. Instead of doing everything yourself, delegate responsibilities to your staff and teach them the skills necessary to complete the tasks, then clearly communicate your expectations and deadlines.
- Upgrade the technology employees need to work remotely
- Set up videoconferencing via Zoom, Skype or Webex
- Consider CRM software such as SalesForce
- Add productivity tools such as Office 365
Making your business more productive should be part of your daily regimen and strategic thinking. Perhaps this timeless advice from Walt Disney sums it up best: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”