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Less is More – Using Technology to Increase Efficiency

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when using a computer at work? We use computers for many everyday tasks, not to mention actually getting work done. Many of these tasks require dedicated software programs, some of which we use constantly throughout the workday. We use email programs, instant messaging applications, internet browsers, and office programs, to name just a few.

The result of this is that we often have many different programs and windows open on our computers at the same time. It can be very easy to lose track of what we are working on, which windows need our attention, and even which applications we have open!

All of these programs can end up being a hindrance, rather than a help. They can turn into distractions that reduce employee productivity instead of increasing it. Not only that, having more programs and windows open on our computers uses more and more resources on our computers, sometimes slowing them down. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Technology has evolved based on our needs, and what many employers need are programs that can accomplish multiple different functions. Before looking for applications that can accomplish one task, look for platforms or services that can fill multiple requirements. A successful example of this is how email programs have integrated with our calendars, to the point where we no longer think of them as separate. Here are a few other suggestions to increase your employees’ efficiency:

  • In addition to its built-in calendar, Outlook also has the ability to create and schedule work tasks from your emails, using email flags and a task list pane. This can be used as a simple alternative to project management software.

  • Google documents provides an easy way to share documents throughout the process of their creation. This program doesn’t just allow you to share documents between multiple people, it allows you to view and edit these documents without having to transfer them back and forth, as well as the ability to add comments and feedback directly into the working document. All of this removes the need to send emails with feedback.

  • There is no need for separate applications for instant messaging and video conferencing. You can use programs like Skype or Microsoft Teams to chat, call and video conference.

  • The Surveys on Systems 24-7 are a powerful tool for gaining feedback from your employees. There are plenty of creative ways to use these. For example, if you have an upcoming meeting, you could post a survey to figure out which dates work best, rather than sending out email requests to several different employees.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) programs are designed to streamline the generation of sales by creating and maintaining customer relationships. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. CRM applications include a database of your contacts, track your tasks, and can integrate with your emails, phones, and other programs on your computer.

  • Webinar programs often aren’t just one-way online presentation applications. In addition to hosting webinars, they can also be used to host meetings or interactive training sessions.

  • Use Sticky Notes! Sticky Notes is a program which creates post-it notes on your computer. Instead of paper notes that can smudge your computer screen or fall off easily, you can type these out on your computer and keep them out of sight until needed.

  • Most browsers offer you the ability to download add-ons/extensions/plug-ins. These are small tools or applications that add some functionality to the browser. While they range from the quite useful to the downright counterproductive, you might find something you didn’t realize you needed.

Computers are extremely useful tools, but if we try to use them to do too many things at once, they can get out of our control. When used correctly, your employees will go from distracted and unproductive to confident and efficient.


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