There is no secret that pulling together a collaborative and productive team could be a challenging mission. In fact, according to the stats, it’s becoming harder and harder to increase overall team performance. And as you can guess, low productivity negatively impacts companies in terms of revenue, employee engagement, work quality, and more.
But the good news is that businesses can influence and revamp their productivity in many ways. For instance, they can do it with the help of technology. In this article, we will dive into how application software, artificial intelligence, and plugins meet the productivity needs of businesses all around the world.
1. Bring teammates near and far closer together with communication software
We all know that effective communication is crucial for team productivity. At the same time, some companies are often on the fence about investing their time and efforts into software that improves team communication. That’s resulted in whopping losses for business owners — companies with 100 employees throw to the wind an average of $420,000 per year because of miscommunication.
Luckily, the market offers many advanced technological solutions for businesses of all sizes: team messengers, video conferencing apps, and everything in between that can dramatically boost internal communication and — as a result — team productivity. Here are a few.
When choosing a messenger for your team, give Chanty a try. Chanty is an easy-to-use team chat focused on ramping up business processes for small and medium teams through artificial intelligence. It helps your teammates become more productive by featuring:
- real-time messaging with an unlimited searchable history
- AI that identifies and gather important information and key takeaways from chats
- plenty of storage space
- robust file sharing
- audio and video calls
- uniting notifications from multiple software services in a single place.
Slack offers a huge number of handy features for team collaboration including group channels and direct messages, file sharing, integrating third-party platforms (like Salesforce, Dropbox, Stripe, etc.), video/audio calls, and other workflow improvers.
If you’re looking for an affordable team chat, Slack can be used for as long as you like at no charge. Keep in mind that that free comes with some limitations in terms of message history, integrations, file storage, and so on.
Flock is a team messenger linking up project collaboration and team communication. Here you can:
- Schedule lightweight tasks while chatting with team members
- Invite business partners, freelancers, and vendors to chat
- Create multiple groups (each focused around a current project or task)
- Hold video meetings with up to eight teammates
- Use To-Do feature for task management and Rich Note Sharing feature to easily share drafts/documents.
A bonus is that Flock features unlimited integrations in its free package.
Having a reliable video conferencing tool will save you time and headaches. Zoom is a Video conferencing service with screen sharing and recording features available on desktop and mobile. Zoom makes remote/in-office team communication and collaboration easier by simply sending a link that takes everyone from all around the world to a meeting. You can conference with individuals without a Zoom account.
Similar to Zoom, appear.in lets you create online meeting rooms via video calls with up to eight people for free. Appear.in is so simple to setup and use. The top features of include:
- Setting a custom background image for the room
- Blocking the room for private talks
- Texting in a chat during meetings
- Sharing your screen
Using Tribe, you can start a group video call from your browser without any account. Just create and send your own invite link to the teammates. Bonus: it’s free.
Never take call notes again and boost the productivity of your phone meetings with Tetra. Tetra uses AI to take notes during your phone calls, so you can focus on the conversation and remember everything later. Using this tool you will be able to:
- Turn phone conversations into text documents immediately after your call is over
- Never forget key details received during phone meetings, and quickly find necessary information
- Make sure everyone’s on the same page sharing your notes with the teammates if needed
2. Stay organized across workflows with cloud-based project or task management software
Have you ever had a project delayed while you desperately searched for a needed document? Had a laptop crashed with all important files? Needed some assets sent but had a teammate stuck working offline?
Having all your projects, assets and milestones in sync and easily accessible can significantly improve overall team performance and be a bold competitive advantage. Therefore, there is no surprise that today companies run 79 percent of their workloads in the cloud.
So, no matter what size or industry your business is related to, the project management tools listed below will greatly enhance your team productivity and collaboration.
Wrike is a powerful tool for managing and collaborating on projects. This software combines simple design with efficient project management features. With Wrike, it’s easy to share and assign tasks, project, and folders with team members.
It’s also a great tool while working with clients who want transparency into your company’s process. You can permit them to see what you’re working on without allowing to make changes or interrupt your process. To sum up, Wrike is the successful medium of great collaborative features and easy-to-use interface.
Someone who has no knowledge of project management software may feel overwhelmed about starting to use it. That is until they try Basecamp. Basecamp is a powerful and intuitive platform for bringing a team together to get things done. Moreover, it takes only 10 minutes to set up the app. Featuring a full stack of collaborative features including to-do lists, wiki-style documents, file sharing, and messaging, Basecamp includes just about everything you need to keep any project running smoothly.
How often have you heard the phrases like “I completely forgot about that” or “Sorry, I missed that email” at the office? If that happens too often, it’s time to reconsider your workflow. And Asana, one of the most well-known project management tools, allows you to refine the team collaboration and productivity.
You can assign tasks to other members, add stakeholders to projects, manage ongoing tasks and monitor deadlines here. Asana may be also very useful as a to-do list or a calendar for strategic planning. This app puts everything in context of a task or conversation, gives complete transparency to who is doing what, but allows some privacy when necessary.
3. Make every second count using time tracking tools
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. To increase your performance and productivity, you must first understand your work clock. How much time do you waste during the workday and on what distractions? What are naturally your most productive hours? How substantial is your contribution to the company’s progress? All these questions can be precisely answered with the help of time tracking tools. Using them, you will able to make the most of your time and, as a consequence, become more efficient.
Time tracking can solve issues of low productivity and procrastination. Toggl is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to enter, start, and stop tracking tasks quickly. Every task can be tagged with a specific word that will help you find needed information later. Some of its features are listed below:
- Time tracking built in your web browser
- Managing workflow of the whole team
- Reporting on your budget spending
- Getting in-depth insights on your company profitability
Popular alternatives to Toggl are Harvest, RescueTime, and TimeCamp.
TimeBoy is an user-friendly and feature-rich tracking app which helps you manage as many workers and projects as you need. With TimeBoy you will be able to:
- Get a complete overview of team performance
- Generate and export productivity reports
- Learn how the work hours are actually spent
- Integrate with your project management software
4. Declutter your digital workspaces (and mind)
Work environment directly impacts team and personal productivity. Chaos can significantly decrease the ability to focus on a job. Alternatively, a laptop screen, web browser, and work tool stack that are streamlined can help you feel organized and calm. If you can’t recall the last time when you felt that way, it’s time to put your digital environment in order with the following tools.
Searching for various documents, links, or whatever else through all your work apps may be a major pain for you and for the entire company. Toby s a smart manager that helps your team organize, share, and collaborate with browser tabs.
With Toby, everything inside a shared tab collection is instantly available to every team member. There’s no need to search through Google Drive, Dropbox, JIRA, Confluence, Slack, and all of your other apps. By organizing your browser tabs with the help of Toby, you can access important resources in one click instead of ten.
Magnet is a handy window manager for MAC that keeps your workspace organized.
Having multiple windows aligned neatly side by side minimizes app switching and greatly enhances multitasking, comparing, and copying. In other words, Magnet declutters your screen by arranging windows into organized tiles.
Station is a nicely organized workstation for all work tools. It’s designed to let you seamlessly switch between your apps in one click and find what you need in a blink of an eye. The unified search finds any information or page you have saved across all your apps. The notification center allows you gain complete control over all your notifications across all your tools.
5. Inject some fun stuff
Integrating fun into the workplace increases productivity and reduces stress. Moreover, companies with ‘fun policies’ indicate greater job satisfaction and increased employee loyalty. So don’t be afraid to inject some fun into your team workflow. That will only ramp up the overall productivity, not kill it.
Can 10 minutes of listening to music make your team more productive? Actually, according to auditory neuroscientists, it can. Brain.fm is the only music composer that boosts attention, reduces mind-wandering, and empowers human minds to achieve more. Why not test it out? All you need is a pair of earphones.
Japanese researchers found that watching cute cat video boosts your productivity and improve attention. It’s not a joke, that’s a real study. Test it yourself with the help of Cat Room where you can create your own personal room with cute cats. Just be sure to use your time tracking software too, so you don’t spend too much time with your digital furballs.
These collaboration tools are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to software that boosts team productivity. The great thing about them is that an investment in these tools doesn’t necessarily require a huge upfront cost. Plenty of above-mentioned collaboration systems offer a free plan, typically with some limitations. Nevertheless, these free versions let you test out whether the tool meets your team’s needs so you can get buy-in before you buy.
Julia Samoilenko is a marketing manager at Chanty — a simple AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center. With five years of experience in digital marketing, Julia is responsible for Chanty’s online social media presence and public relations. Connect with Julia on LinkedIn.