5 tips for avoiding the productivity paradox

It’s a typical day. I get into the office ready to productively tackle my projects – and then the barrage hits.

Waiting at the top of my inbox are 50 unread messages. As I start shifting through them, an IM from Kirsten pops up looking for an invoice. Then the phone rings.  Then there’s another IM. And another.

By the time I’m finished playing communications whack-a-mole, the day is almost over. 

I’m sure you can relate.

Once upon a time, business was conducted face-to-face…

Today, we do it over phone, email, web, instant messaging, file collaboration, social media…the list goes on and on. Who knows – our kids will probably be holding board meetings via Snapchat.

But are these technologies – which are meant to increase efficiency and improve productivity – actually slowing us down? 

About 28% of office worker’s time is lost to interruptions and recovery time—or, around $900 billion in lost productivity a year, according to New York research firm Basex. Yikes!

Avoid the productivity paradox

While efficient use of business technologies can be a major boon, when used ineffectively they can really drag down productivity.  So what do you do?

Here are five tips for being more efficient with your productivity tools.

  1. Eliminate the back and forth. Think about all the time wasted with back-and-forth coordinating, scheduling and following up. With a unified communications platform, employees can communicate with one another over instant messaging, access rich and integrated calendar data to determine the availability of a colleague and even receive a voicemail message in their email inbox.
  2. Tackle unwanted email. Today, the problems plaguing your inbox go beyond spam. To help mitigate risk, make sure your email address isn’t publicly available, leverage a “sender policy framework and utilize your provider’s spam filters. We offer a three-step tutorial here: Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3.
  3. Streamline collaboration efforts.  While services like Dropbox are easy to implement, they can create version control problems if two people are working on the same document at the same time. Business-grade solutions include version tracking allowing employees to automatically sync their files, make changes and upload their own versions without creating conflicted files.
  4. Improve meeting efficiency.  Meetings are often cited as one of the biggest productivity killers in the workplace. With communication tools like Lync Enterprise, employees can get the whole team together regardless of location. Use the video or call feature to have a productive meeting and even share their desktop or use whiteboarding to move the conversation forward- all without having to leave their desks.
  5. Cut our password problems.  It can be nearly impossible to keep track of all of the individual passwords required for all of your web apps – so don’t. A single sign-on portal provides one-click access to all of a user’s web apps with a single password.

Make your productivity tools work for you

Intermedia’s Office in the Cloud offers the essential communication and collaboration tools you need to stay productive.

And with free onboarding, 24/7 in-house phone and chat support, and 99.999% uptime guarantee, you don’t have the added worry of losing productivity due to downtime.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia