Originally published by The European Business Review. Reposted with permission.
It’s no secret that the workplace is changing. Technology is revolutionizing how we communicate, collaborate, and get things done, and we’re seeing this reflected in everything from HR trends to productivity software.
One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen in recent years is a focus on “smart” workplaces, or those that are equipped with everything employees need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. But what exactly does this mean? And how can you upgrade yours, so it’s smarter, too?
This blog post discusses essential tools that you incorporate in your workplace to make it smarter.
1. Automation Software
Automation software is a tool that allows you to automate repetitive tasks, making your work more efficient and saving time. It also helps reduce errors by removing the human element from these tasks that can be prone to error.
Tools like Zapier, IFTTT (If This Then That), or Automate.io are great examples of automation software that can be used in various industries, including marketing and sales teams who want to streamline their processes by reducing manual inputs.
According to UC Today, a 2021 Zapier study says that companies that use automation software experience significant employee efficiency:
- 45 percent of employees say it helps them to be more organized.
- 45 percent of employees say it helps complete tasks faster.
- 37 percent of employees said it helps the team focus on important work.
- 35 percent of employees say it reduces human error, and
- 33 percent of employees say they like to experiment with new technology.
2. Project Management Platforms
A project management platform is a software tool that helps teams manage projects, assignments, and deadlines. It’s essentially an online space where you can organize all your tasks for different projects into separate lists or boards.
Project managers use tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com to track what needs to be done and by whom at any given time.
According to Straits Research, the global project management market size is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.77%. Its market size is expected to reach USD 15.6 billion in 2030 from USD 6 billion in 2021. And the sector contributes to more than 30% of revenue in the business process management industry.
3. Electronic Visitor Management Systems
Visitor management systems, or VMSs, are the backbone of any business. They’re the software that allows you to manage your visitors and their access to your facility. Electronic visitor management systems can be used for multiple purposes:
- To check in and out guests as they enter a building or event space. This can help you keep track of who’s there at all times, which is especially useful if it’s a large conference or event where you don’t want someone wandering off without signing out.
- To manage visitor badges and IDs using RFID technology (radio frequency identification). This means there won’t be any more lost badges because they can’t be taken off without being deactivated first.
- And finally, some systems even include electronic payment options, so customers don’t have to wait in line at check-in desks anymore.
4. Communication Platforms
Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Workspace are three communication platforms you can use to enhance collaboration and communication within your team.
Each of these tools provides real-time messaging and file-sharing capabilities to help you stay connected with your team members no matter where they are or what they’re working on.
5. Cloud Storage Solutions
Cloud storage solutions allow you to store your files in the cloud, allowing access from any device. Cloud storage solutions are especially useful for teams who need to share large amounts of data across multiple devices and locations. The benefits of using a cloud storage solution include:
- Increased productivity – With all your files available at once, you’ll spend less time searching for them and more time getting work done on them. This means that you’re able to complete tasks faster than ever before.
- Better collaboration – Collaborating with coworkers is easier because they can access the same files as you do at all times.
6. Virtual Meeting Platforms
Virtual meeting platforms are a great way to connect with your team. They allow for real-time communication and also save time and money. Tools like Zoom, Skype, or Webex enable virtual meetings, webinars, and online training sessions.
According to GlobeNewswire, a recent study estimated that the global virtual meeting software market was worth USD 10.92 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2%, earning revenues of USD 27.19 billion by 2028 end. An increase in the number of companies providing this software is the main driving factor of the market.
7. Task Management Tools
Task management tools are a great way to stay on top of your tasks, projects, and more. They can help you prioritize your work and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Task management tools like Todoist, Wunderlist, or Google Tasks allow individuals and teams to keep track of their tasks in one place, so they don’t have to worry about forgetting anything important.
8. Time-Tracking and Productivity Software
If you’re looking for ways to improve productivity and increase your team’s effectiveness, look no further than time-tracking software.
These tools allow you to track how much time each member of your team spends working on each project or task. They also allow you to see where they’re spending their time so that you can make improvements in the way they work.
In addition, some of these programs come with additional features like goal setting and reporting capabilities that help motivate employees towards achieving better results. The best part? Most are free.
Some popular options include RescueTime, Toggl, and Focus@Will.
The workplace is an ever-evolving environment, and you must keep up with the latest trends in technology. These 8 tools will help you do just that. They can increase productivity, improve communication and collaboration among coworkers, or even save some of your precious time at work.