Research undertaken by Loudhouse for Portfolio and Resource Management solutions company Planview clearly showed that making the best use of technology is vital to business productivity. So in their report on the findings, entitled Powering Productivity: How Business Leaders Are Using Technology to Drive Efficiency, Planview set out five key recommendations for implementing productivity tools.

Here’s our take on Planview’s tips:

Get onboard with technology

The findings showed that technology is key to productivity and efficiency, so review areas of weakness and ask yourself if there is more that your existing technology could do for your business. We are way beyond the point where any business Planview reportcan afford to ignore or hide from technology; it’s here to stay, and if used correctly, it can be a powerful ally. So Investigate the Cloud and find out about the products and services that are out there. 
‘Change doesn’t have to be daunting or overly intrusive – start with small technology investments in key areas of inefficiency,’ Planview advises.

Use collaborative technologies

Using software to improve communication, project management and collaborative working could save time, increase productivity and help to eliminate the duplication of tasks and information – and duplicated effort was high on the list of business time-wasters identified by the 515 international business leaders surveyed by Loudhouse.

Aim for mobility and flexibility

Both technology and employment trends are making working on the move or at home more practical, desirable and commonplace. Cloud computing and mobile devices will enable you to offer more flexibility to your employees, allowing them to carry on working while juggling family commitments or that pointless day waiting for delivery of white goods than can arrive anytime between 7 and 7. It will also enable employees to stay in touch with the business and use their time productively if they have to travel. Forget that novel – now there’s no excuse to laze away the time between arriving at the airport and boarding the plane.

‘Mobile and flexible working solutions create time savings and reduce employee stress – leading to a more productive workforce,’ says Planview.

Innovate with scalability in mind

You may have started small, but if you’re wise, you’ll put in the preparation necessary to get bigger without the growing pains. ‘Scalability is key. The ability to start small and add capabilities and functionality as needed is essential,’ warns Planview. So try to invest in technology that can be upgraded and added to as technology develops, making your business technology as future proof as possible. It’s worth getting expert advice if you’re not sure how best to go about this.

Prioritize ease-of-use Implement technology that is simple and satisfying to use.

Complicated software and hardware may bring about amazing results, but if it’s not user-friendly, employees won’t use it –making the investment a waste of time and money. ‘Employees tend to avoid engaging with complicated solutions.

This means that productivity benefits are not fully realized,’ advises Planview (something you’ll know yourself if, like me, you’ve ever been the one called to drag bent staples out of that funky new photocopier that can duplex, flip, enlarge, collate and then staple, and only stops short of making the tea). Trial software thoroughly where you can, and listen carefully to employee feedback before you invest