In 2017, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the productivity of the American labor market had declined. These results baffled experts who had predicted that technological advancement would inevitably make workers more productive. But, the reality appears to be that technology has the power to both improve and reduce productivity.
In his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport points out that employees must be consciously focused to deliver truly remarkable business results. This presents a unique challenge for businesses, especially since today’s workforce is both more technologically adept and more technologically distracted than ever before. For businesses that want to improve productivity, the following tools may be a good place to start in the quest to help your employees better focus on their daily tasks.
Microsoft Outlook App
It may not be surprising to learn that Microsoft makes one of the best email clients out there. The product was designed to integrate seamlessly with popular email providers like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Yahoo. And, the Outlook App applies machine learning to recognize email patterns and then apply what it’s learned about the user to sort emails into two sections. The first section is called “Focused Inbox,” and is where users should be spending most of their time, as these emails are often most important. The second folder, called “Other Inbox,” contains promotional emails that can often be ignored.
In addition to email, Outlook also syncs your calendar and attached files, meaning that all of your important work information is contained in one easy-to-navigate app. And, because your calendar is synced in the same app where you manage your email, the platform allows you to quickly and easily embed your Outlook calendar availability into any email. It stays updated and works regardless of your recipient’s email platform or software, even if they’re on mobile!
Are you at risk of losing a key team member? Is your team as productive as they could be? Do you know what your employees are thinking? Did you know that most employees are not comfortable sharing feedback, unless asked? Did you know a recent study found that 65% of employees want more feedback at work about how they are doing their jobs? Now, ordinarily, it would be difficult to answer these questions, but with PropFuel, a platform designed to help business leaders solicit feedback from employees, these questions can be answered to help you improve employee retention and satisfaction.
To accomplish this objective, PropFuel offers three core features:
Donut is an easy-to-use Slack integration designed to strengthen your team’s relationships, empathy, and culture. Here’s how it works. Donut introduces people who don’t know each other well and encourages them to meet for coffee, lunch, or “donuts”—these meetings can take place in person or be done digitally for teams in multiple locations. To use this feature, a dedicated channel for Donut needs to be created and it will then pair its members by direct message every one to four-weeks. It’s a great tool to help encourage colleagues to take a few minutes out of their day to connect with peers on a regular basis.
This software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, uses machine learning to make sales teams more effective. The way it works is by recording every phone conversation your sales team has with prospective customers. The software then analyzes the recordings to identify strategies, techniques, and/or keywords it finds being used regularly in the conversations of your top salespeople. The software then provides real-time sales advice for other members of the team to help improve their results by encouraging the use of the strategies being employed by your best employees.
Bringing it all together
As you work to accomplish the 2018 business goals you’ve set, remember that you’ll need productive, focused employees to get you there. So, use the tools mentioned in this blog to help everyone on your team improve collaboration, communication, focus, and to work more effectively.