Monday, 31 July 2023

Our top 5 tech productivity hacks

How can your teams use technology to help drive productivity? The Grant McGregor team considers a few opportunities to boost productivity in your organisation.

How can your teams use technology to help drive productivity? The Grant McGregor team considers a few opportunities to boost productivity in your organisation.


The UK has a productivity crisis. 

Economic growth is important due to the role it plays in providing jobs and improving living standards. But productivity growth, a key driver of higher living standards, has slowed in the UK since 2008, the House of Lords noted recently.

Productivity growth has remained slow in the UK during the past decade, and output per hour has underperformed G7 peers for long periods. Forbes magazine dubs this the UK productivity puzzle.

The Grant McGregor team considers: how can technology help?


#1. Explore automation opportunities

Many businesses still rely on paper-based processes for records and notetaking purposes. The availability of user-friendly automation tools and apps makes this less and less necessary.

Microsoft’s Power Platform – with tools such as Power Automate, Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents – provides a low-code and no-code environment to develop solutions tailored to the needs of your business.

As well as helping you to eliminate inefficient paper-based processes, you can use these tools to automate time-consuming repetitive tasks – freeing up your teams to focus on more complex, rewarding and value-adding work.


#2. Use collaboration tools effectively

Most of us use Microsoft Teams or similar communication and collaboration tools to connect and work with colleagues. Functions and features are being added to Microsoft Teams every month, so staying ahead of what’s possible on the platform can be tricky. In addition, setting permissions and processes in place to ensure users get the most from the solution while keeping organisational data safe can be tricky. 

It's a great idea to work with your IT partner to schedule regular application health checks. This way, you can make sure you are using Teams most effectively. Resolve data security concerns, streamline the user experience and prevent your application getting bogged down and bloated with unnecessary or duplicated channels and documents.


#3. Make time for focused work

Technology is great for enabling communication and collaboration, but it can also be hugely distracting.

That’s why business leaders – including at global technology firms – are making time for distraction-free focused work. By switching off all devices and focusing solely on one problem or task, they can devote greater attention to solving a specific problem.

There are many time-blocking apps that can help you achieve this. Or you can simply block out the time in your calendar, switch your phone to “downtime”, set your status to “do not disturb” and make it clear to colleagues that you shouldn’t be interrupted.


#4. Stay healthy

A healthy mind and body are essential prerequisites to being productive. And technology has an answer here too!

Whatever you need help with – whether it is improving your sleep patterns, instituting a weekly fitness programme or making time for daily meditation, you can find an app for that! As an employer, instituting good policies that ensure wellbeing is prioritised should be a high priority. This might mean subsidising fitness and mental health apps, so employees can access supportive tools either independently or with colleagues. Perhaps you might even want to develop your own health and productivity app using Microsoft Power Apps?


#5. Boost engagement

Employees who are engaged with their job and employer are more productive because they are motivated beyond personal factors.

Harvard Business Review states, “Improving employee engagement is not simply about improving productivity — although organizations with a high level of engagement do report 22% higher productivity, according to a new meta-analysis of 1.4 million employees conducted by the Gallup Organization.

“In addition, strong employee engagement promotes a variety of outcomes that are good for employees and customers. For instance, highly engaged organizations have double the rate of success of lower engaged organizations. Comparing top-quartile companies to bottom-quartile companies, the engagement factor becomes very noticeable. For example, top-quartile firms have lower absenteeism and turnover.”

Engagement is driven by many factors, including articulating a strong sense of purpose, ensuring employees feel valued and rewarded and fostering a sense of achievement.

Internal communication has an impact in many of these areas. That’s why our technology tip here centres around developing your company Intranet and backing that up with effective HR, training and review policies. Find best practice tips for developing your company intranet on Microsoft SharePoint on our blog. 


What next?

Do you feel that your organisation could be using technology more effectively to become more productive?

If so, our team is on hand to help!

Call us: 0808 164 4142

Message us: 

Further reading

Find more technology topics on our blog:

•    Productivity apps for small businesses

•    What is Power BI? And do I need it?

•    Should your organisation be leasing your IT hardware?

•    What Is Citizen Development? And Should You Be Doing It?

•    Can I really use Power Automate to automate my workflows? How to get started.

•    Tips for getting the most from Power Platform