Employee productivity has been a focal point in the great “work remote forever” vs “return to office” debate for both sides. Regardless to which side of the argument you stand, it is apparent that organizations have placed an emphasis on investing in employee productivity tools to make sure there is no dip in performance whether working in the office together or working remotely.
The most common disconnect seems to lie with the more “traditional” style of work that many in leadership and management roles started out in against those who now feel as if they have been more productive and engaged than ever before with the ability to work from home and be more autonomous.
Since the pandemic shifted working arrangements, what has the employee productivity landscape looked like?
According to a recent study:
- Overall worker productivity has increased in the United States by 5%
- On average, workers are 13% more productive when working from home
- Engaged employees are 21% more productive
- Productivity increased by nearly 62% from 1979 to 2020
But one very interesting finding from the same study shows that an average employee is productive for 60% of their workday, yet office employees are only productive for 31% of their workday which equates to just shy of 3 hours of productivity per day while in office.
Many factors contribute to these numbers, but the most common reasons that employees report feeling less productive in office is due to colleague interruptions and interactions and other distractions that come with being in office.
We’re going to dive into a few employee productivity tools that can help boost productivity in any work setting.
Why Implement Employee Productivity Tools
It’s a simple answer, right? The obvious goal is to increase employee productivity through tools that enable them to be more efficient and less distracted. But, not just any or all employee productivity tools may provide the results your team is hoping to achieve. It is important to understand some of the main causes of lost productivity.
One of the greatest obstacles to productivity is multitasking. This may come as a shock to many since it seems to be such a common occurrence in our everyday lives, but trying to work on more than one task at once can easily derail us from accomplishing even one. As we continue to shift trains of thought, it can be hard for workers to refocus on the original task. By implementing tools and processes that can help reduce multitasking and make it easier to focus on one objective at a time, many employees report feeling greater overall productivity.
Workplace distractions are reported to be another significant cause of lower productivity. This is a very broad category including employee interactions, conversations, “people-watching”, and internal communications and meetings. While some of these are unavoidable and can also be important for fostering camaraderie and company culture, as human beings we do unfortunately get distracted easily by observing what is going on around us.
Speaking of meetings, the average corporate employee reportedly spends 4 hours per week just preparing for and attending meetings. Imagine how much greater this number can be for those in more senior positions. Then factor in how many of these employees feel distracted during the meeting or feel as if it was unnecessary for them to even attend the meeting to begin with.
So now that we’ve covered some of the factors that result in lower productivity, let’s take a look at some of our favorite employee productivity tools that are helping to fight off these distractions.
Our Favorite Types of Employee Productivity Tools
When it comes to tools designed for employee productivity for businesses, they usually fall into a few main categories: Communication, Collaboration, Organization, and Project Management.
There is some overlap between which category different tools will fall into based on their capabilities, but we’re going to cover the benefit to each type of worker productivity tool and some of our personal favorites.
Communication tools have long been part of business practices and are an essential element, especially for distributed workforce teams. Communication tools include your phone, email, instant messaging services, and conferencing tools.
Collaboration can often go hand in hand with communication, but they don’t necessarily have to be the same. Collaboration tools like Trello, Figma, and the Google suite make it easy for multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously and collaborate in real time.
Organization tools make it easy to find your work and for all team members and users to easily access the relevant information and documents. Using a file-sharing service like Dropbox makes it easy for any employee to find the information they need (as long as the files and folders are neatly organized).
Project Management Tools
Having a plan can drastically reduce distractions, multitasking, and unnecessary communication to get everyone on the same page on where a project stands. Using a tool like Asana can clearly map out and detail the steps to take in any project, showing you what order tasks need to be completed and being able to share the status of any task with other collaborators.
CloudApp – The Visual Communication Employee Productivity Tool
CloudApp is our totally unbiased favorite employee productivity tool. Well, maybe there is a little bias, but there is still a ton of great reasoning and intent behind it.
One of the keys to improving employee productivity lies in the ability and implementation of tools that encourage more asynchronous methods of communication and using async messaging tools. Being able to identify what truly needs to be a meeting or what is urgent can play a huge role in reducing the number of workplace distractions, thus leading to more productivity. By giving employees the ability to review information and respond in their own time that fits into their schedules, less time is spent jumping from task to task to trying to refocus on the project they were working on.
CloudApp makes asynchronous interactions easy. Users can easily make screen recording, screen capture, annotated GIFs, or take screenshots to add a layer of visual communication that can greatly boost clarity and reduce the number of interactions needed to effectively convey information. CloudApp seamlessly fits into any employee workflow and the user interface makes it simple, just click and record! In addition, CloudApp users can easily drag and drop videos and images or copy the link that recipients can instantly view, no downloading or buffering required, since it is a cloud-based platform.
One of our favorite use cases for CloudApp as an employee productivity tool is fighting the overall number of meetings. With CloudApp, taking a screen recording allows the user to still display themselves along with their screen to easily present information and still keep it personal. We use it internally to share company updates and reduce some of the overall weekly check-ins that most employees just attend rather than interact with. Our leadership team and speakers for the week simply record their updates and employees are allowed to watch them when it best suits their schedule, rather than needing to jump from their actual work tasks to join the meeting.
Schedule a demo to see how CloudApp can improve your employee productivity!