Are happy workers more productive workers?
Personal satisfaction and happiness are more important in the workplace than ever before, yet relatively few employees are truly happy. Cisco's recent survey on the future of work, found that the top challenge organisations face today is diminishing employee satisfaction.
Happiness is critical to productivity. According to experiments conducted at the University of Warwick, happiness at work translates into a 12 per cent productivity gain. The experiments also found that unhappy workers are 10 per cent less productive than happy workers. And these facts are as true for small businesses as they are for larger enterprises.
Despite its importance, increasing productivity remains a challenge. Everything from unproductive meetings to feelings of isolation can cause unhappiness and reduce productivity. In fact, poor or unproductive meetings are one of the top challenges employees face today, according to the Cisco study.
Increasing productivity through technology
One of the best ways SMBs can increase productivity is by giving employees tools that give them the flexibility to work wherever they are – on whatever device they want – while fully participating in meetings and collaborative projects.
The first level of productivity improvement involves providing video collaboration tools that allow employees to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, business partners, and customers whenever and wherever they want. It’s an ideal way to increase productivity in everything from routine meetings to interactive training and live technical support.
Video collaboration and virtual meeting spaces
The most important capabilities of video collaboration include clear audio and video, the ability to share screens, and easy access via any type of device. Many of the best video collaboration systems today also are cloud-based, which means that small businesses pay only for what they use. Cloud-enabled systems also allow users to store everything they create in a secure cloud, making it accessible to all credentialed users from any device, at any location.
For more enhanced productivity options, consider adding more collaborative functions to your online communication options. Look for systems that provide the widest number of productivity-enhancing features, including virtual meeting spaces, file sharing, digital whiteboards, video calling and group chat.
Cutting-edge collaboration tools provide users with mobile apps that are fully integrated with the full system. While artificial intelligence in the form of Virtual Assistants allow you to start, end and control your meetings with just your voice.
Provide employees with secure, collaborative workspaces
No matter what level of productivity-enhancing collaboration options you choose for your employees, make sure they are fully secure. At the very least, these systems should be built using multi-layer security and should encrypt data in transit and at rest.
The most secure systems give administrators the ability to manage encryption keys and encrypt data even before it leaves a device.
The right tools lead to operational efficiency and increased productivity
The most important fact about online meeting services and collaboration tools is that they work. According to a survey from IDG Research Services, the top business benefits to small and medium-sized businesses were operational efficiency and increased productivity, while the top personal benefit was increased personal productivity.
In many ways, expanded Internet-enabled meeting and collaboration tools are just the first step in what experts say is the new reality, where almost anyplace is a workplace, productivity and innovation are highly valued, and the future is virtually limitless.
In the coming years, even the smallest companies will begin embracing these ideals. It’s not too soon to start.
For a real life example of how technology improves productivity, read how collaboration tools enabled Fashion brand Del Brenta to reduce time to market and improve operational efficiency.