Technology in The Workplace: 19 Ways to Boost Productivity & Increase Wellness
Technology: it has its good points, but definitely some drawbacks as well.
In the workplace, technology is essential for many professions. Having the latest apps, gadgets and software is often crucial to do the most efficient job possible.
However, technology in the workplace can have some negative impacts.
Being on call 24/7, not moving around enough during the day and having no actual in-person conversations have been shown to have negative effects on mental health.
But can technology be used to stimulate productivity and wellness?
Luckily, one of the positive effects of technology in the workplace is that many people are now creating software and hardware that focuses on wellness and productivity.
Both on a personal and business level, there are plenty of ways to utilise technology to help employees get lots done and feel refreshed at work.
And businesses should be adopting these.
Well, there are loads of great benefits of technology in the workplace for everyone. As well as the individual feeling less stressed, perks for the business owners include:
- Less employee sickness
- A less stressed atmosphere in the work environment
- Increased brainpower
- A more motivated atmosphere
- Decreased employer healthcare costs
Research from Econocom states that 55% of office workers feel that workplace technology makes them more productive, with 48% saying it makes them feel more valued and 38% claiming that it makes them work harder.
If you’re interested in knowing exactly what types of technology in the workplace can give these amazing benefits, look no further.
Here’s a list of 19 great ways to boost productivity and increase wellness through workplace technology.
Software for productivity
- Digital Calendars
Digital calendars have been around for almost as long as computers– but they are still somewhat underrated in the workplace. Using an online calendar (many of which are free) is a fantastic way to keep employee stress levels down and make sure that the office stays organised.
Just some of the benefits of using an online calendar include:
- It is easy to access from multiple devices and by different people
- Meetings, appointments and events can all be inputted and streamlined
- It’s possible to block out time in your day and save time for recreation and relaxation
- Reminders can be set for the important things
- Communication software
All offices communicate. Whether you’re talking to your boss about your goals for the week or discussing collaboration opportunities with a different department, you will most likely have several different virtual conversations throughout the working day.
This means that you’ll need appropriate communication software to make your environment as productive as possible. Some offices like to use Google Hangouts, whereas others favour more niche tools like Basecamp.
The perfect communication software for you will depend on your team’s size and needs, but the best one will ensure workplace productivity.
- Time tracking tools
Keeping track of time is not a new method of staying productive, but it is sometimes forgotten about in office environments.
Using time tracking software, you will be able to stay within an allotted time for different tasks, maintaining focus and getting lots of different jobs done.
A popular time tracking software is the free to use toggle.
- Declutter programmes
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘tidy space, tidy mind’, and it rings true when thinking about decluttering.
Decluttering your computer desktop is essential to keep documents organised and doing so has a direct effect on mentality and wellbeing in the workplace.
Furthermore, keeping everything organised ensures that files are never lost, increasing productive time spent on the computer. Mac has its own declutter programme which can close unnecessary windows and organise documents into files, and Windows 10 has some built in facilities to do a similar job.
- Chatbots for customer service
Although artificial intelligence seems scary, in some ways it is great for jobs and workplace productivity. In a lot of ways, the use of artificial intelligence is one of the main advantages of technology in businessbecause it takes over the mundane jobs and leaves employees free to focus on more creative tasks.
Chatbots make customer service simple; they take over a role that a human brain would be doing (answering easy questions), leaving that human available for productive and creative work.
Chatbots are frequently used on company websites or social media pages.
- Networking programmes
While networking used to involve physically going to events, the virtual world makes it a lot easier to meet people online.
LinkedIn is a popular social network that helps people in similar professions connect.
Using tools like LinkedIn cuts a lot of unproductive time spent at events, meaning that the employee can use their time more wisely.
- Better marketing through social media
Marketing has changed a lot in recent years. The rise of influencer marketing means that many teams are outsourcing jobs, resulting in more space to create new ideas.
Forbes mentions benefits of using influencers like gaining instant authority, learning about customers and gaining credibility and perspective, but the fact that they work on their own campaigns, leaving marketing staff free to pursue other projects greatly improves workplace productivity. And of course, it wouldn’t be possible to use them without technology!
- Checklist tools
Using a checklist tool is both a fantastic way to organise tasks and is perfect for feeling productive – which in turn breeds more productivity. Encouraging staff members to get into the habit of creating a to do list at the beginning of each day helps to begin the momentum for this.
Hardware for productivity
- Interactive displays
One of the best examples of hardware for workplace productivity is interactive displays. These wall-mounted tools can be used as both a whiteboard and a large computer, and they make collaboration with other workmates easy.
Just some of the benefits of interactive displays include:
- Ideas can be presented in a dynamic way, increasing audience interest and subsequently, productivity.
- Colleagues who are not in the board room or huddle room can still join in with what is going on by connecting on a PC or tablet. This means that people do not necessarily have to be in the physical place if they do not need to be.
- It is easy to use the internet to research and pull together ideas in a smooth fashion. Because everything is connected, it is easy and enhances productivity.
- Wearable devices
Wearable devices in the workplace are thought by some to be great for improving workplace productivity and wellness. While wearables were initially created for the health and fitness niches, using them in the workplace can easily track and increase productivity. They can be used for tasks like tracking movements and logging time.
- Gym Equipment
This might not be possible for all companies but having a treadmill and a gym bike could really make the difference for some employee wellness. Many people do not have gym memberships because of high costs, which means that they do not end up getting much exercise.
But if there was a free work out space in the office, many employees would utilise it. Encouraging employees to keep fit is something that more and more bosses are realising they should be doing – in fact, Business Insider thinks that employees should be paid to work out! Investing in a couple of pieces of gym equipment could significantly impact the wellbeing – and subsequently the productivity – of staff.
- Noise canceling headphones
One of Red Bull’s favourite workplace gadgets, noise-cancelling headphones are a great way to block out the world and get some important tasks complete. Not only does this tool increase productivity, but it eliminates the stress that some people feel when they have too much background noise. Noise cancelling headphones help the employee to stay centred and focused on the task at hand and create the best work possible.
- Multi laptop windows
With the amount of work that some people must deal with in office environments, one laptop window sometimes isn’t enough. Luckily, now, multi laptop windows can be purchased without the need for a whole new screen.
Using these means that documents, browsers and other windows can be open simultaneously. Not having to sift through different windows gives an immediate sense of decluttering and creates a more breathable desktop.
- State of the art laptops
The average office worker spends 1700 hours a year in front of a computer screen, so it makes sense to invest in a good one. Choosing high quality desktops or laptops that run quickly and have all the latest software means that staff will be able to work more productively and efficiently.
While there are so many different types of workplace technology that can help businesses, the right computer is arguably the most significant and should be prioritised.
- Proper air ventilation units
This one is a bit of an investment but ensuring that offices have the right ventilation is a great way to ensure that staff are both productive and healthy.
Improved air quality and ventilation increases productivity by up to 11%, so if your office is feeling a little stuffy, it might be time for an air conditioning upgrade.
Tools for wellness in the workplace
- Social media for wellness programmes
Social media is a huge part of most companies nowadays. But using it within companies is a great way to promote wellness amongst staff. If a wellness programme is created within a company, the creation of a Facebook group or Twitter chat to promote this is vital.
Using groups or chats, inspirational ideas can be shared, friendly competitions can be hosted, and support can be offered virtually. It’s a great way to get people together to discuss matters and helps staff members become more relaxed at work.
- Mindfulness programme
Mindfulness is one of the best employee well-being initiatives you can adopt. Encouraging staff to consider their mindfulness throughout the working day can only serve to benefit the workplace, as calm and centred employees have a ripple effect in creating relaxed working environments.
But how can technology help with this? There are a few different apps that are great for mindfulness during the working day, including:
- Headspace – this programme offers short meditations, perfect for taking a quick break from work
- Buddhify – this software has short meditation tracks and is designed for busy people
- GPS for the soul – this app measures the user’s stress levels and helps them correct through various mindfulness practices
- Gratitude practices
Technology is great for gratitude practices, as well, and gratitude is essential for a healthy mind. Employers should be encouraging their employees to train their brain to see the good in situations, and gratitude is the fastest way of doing so.
The Gratitude 365 app is a fantastic way to do so and can be used in groups to share what different people are thankful for. It can be business related, or to do with people’s personal lives; whatever the focus, businesses can be sure of having a much more productive and calmer employee base after practicing gratitude!
- Goal tracking software
Whether you just share your business goals in a communalGoogle Drive document, or use a fancier app for goal tracking, writing down what you want to achieve is a great way for both staying on track and keeping everybody else inspired as well.
Some great goal tracking apps and software include:
- Way of Life App – this tool creates graphs to track goals
- AnyDo – this task manager is simple to use and has a beautiful interface
- Asana – this software is free for teams fewer than 30 people and is a great way to collaborate with goals
There are all sorts of ways that technology in the workplace can greatly impact employees’ wellness and productivity. When used correctly, technology is a fantastic gadget that can connect people, share ideas and act as inspiration, and naturally this should extend into people’s workplaces. These ideas can greatly impact an employee’s state of mind, mental health and subsequently, work ethics and productivity levels.