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How Technology Can Help or Hinder Your Team

By | 24 November 2019 |

Digital technologies have revolutionised the way every business operates. Technological advances allow companies to improve communication, employ remote workers, reduce costs, and boost productivity. However, technology, just like any other tool, is only effective when it’s used properly.

Although technology is an intrinsic part of any business, it can have its disadvantages. For example, it can be expensive to install and maintain computer systems. Many consumers complain that technology has resulted in many businesses losing their personal touch. There are also concerns about security breaches and data protection.

How Technology Can Help or Hinder Your Team

How can technology benefit your team and boost efficiency? What steps can you take to prevent technology from becoming a hindrance?

You will find the answers to those questions in this article.

How technology can help your team work better

Let’s look at some of the most important ways your team can use technology to work more productively and effectively. You will also find out some of the best tools to use so that technology can help your team.

Technology improves collaboration

Software and mobile apps have transformed how teams can collaborate with each other. Sharing documents, spreadsheets, and emails allow team members to work on one project without having to keep track of multiple versions. Permissions can also be set up to allow certain members to either view, edit, or comment on a document.

Some excellent tools to make collaborating easier among team members are:

  • Slack for instant messaging and managing projects.
  • Google Docs for teamwork on documents.
  • Trello or Basecamp for project management and maintaining schedules.

Improving customer service

Many businesses are benefiting by developing websites that meet customer needs and improve their experience. Webchat software, artificial intelligence, and messaging apps can provide tailored customer service in a cost-effective way.

One 2017 survey found that 64% of consumers prefer texting rather than voice calls if they need to contact customer service. Added to this is the fact that 81% of consumers expressed frustration when they couldn’t get through to customer service by phone.

Another way how technology can improve customer service and boost your business is by offering social proof. Leaving online reviews is a way for customers to share their experiences. Also, Google takes note of social proof signals in its search algorithms. Even though some business owners may view the opportunity to leave online reviews as a possible hindrance, the fact is that customers will vent their frustration online somewhere.

Improving work-life balance

When used correctly, technology allows more employees to enjoy a flexible working schedule and maintain a proper work-life balance. Superfast broadband, video-conferencing software, and collaboration apps allow more workers to work from home. This can an excellent solution if the weather is bad, children are sick, or you just want to offer more flexible hours.

Some technology tools that help with remote working are:

  • Video-conferencing software such as Skype, Facetime, or Google Duo.
  • Collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Liquid Planner, or Zoho Project.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow remote access to corporate resources.

Technology helps your business grow

Technology gives small businesses the opportunity to grow at a rate that was unimaginable a few years ago. Online shopping allows some businesses to open up their international markets. Other businesses providing local services have seen that they can increase their customer base. Even “bricks and mortar” businesses can see an increase in footfall when they use mobile apps and technology properly.

How to prevent technology from hindering your team productivity

In order for technology to be an asset to a business, you need to use it properly. Some of the benefits of technological advances have also become a hindrance. For example, the possibility to work from home has meant that some workers face burnout because of taking extra work home.

Here are a few tips to help prevent technology from hindering productivity:

  • Email. Prevent email from becoming a distraction by limiting notifications or turning them off. Schedule a regular time in the day to check and answer emails.
  • Social media. There is no need to completely switch off from social media. To prevent it from becoming a hindrance, make some time near the end of day or during a break to catch up on your news feed.
  • New apps. Avoid being the first to try out new software. Very often, it takes time to learn new software and they may end up being ditched by the manufacturers. However, you still be prepared to embrace new technology when it becomes established.

In conclusion, technology is here to stay and can help boost productivity when used correctly.