Top Apps for Boosting Productivity
Many managers and human resources professionals see their employees’ smartphones as enemies of productivity – distractions that lure employees away from work with games and social media. Smartphones can instead help boost employee and managerial productivity, providing many convenient work-related apps that make them more flexible and adaptable, allowing them to file expense reports, purchase shop uniforms or complete workflows.
Being able to check work email from their smartphones helps keep employees connected when they’re out of the office and can help them get a head start on tasks. Other communications apps are also helpful in assisting key players with keeping in touch, no matter where they may be. MobileDay makes attending conference calls via smartphone easier, as does GoToMeeting. Apple’s FaceTime also makes one-on-one, face-to-face online meetings easy to arrange.
Collaboration and enterprise productivity apps provide employees with the opportunity to more easily work together. Apps like Slack and Trello help employees share work and information and also help organize and schedule important work activities. Being able to initiate and complete workflows from mobile devices keeps business moving even when key players are away from the office or are dispersed among multiple worksites.
The ability to go online to make purchases via smartphone or mobile device can be quite beneficial for employees charged with procurement. Using smartphone apps, buyers can purchase anything from office supplies to shop uniforms.
Ever the bane of productivity, expense reports are a necessary but time-consuming evil. New apps that allow employees to fill out expense reports from their smartphones gives them more flexibility and convenience in reporting business expenses. One particularly good app is Expensify, a highly user-friendly app that makes filling out expense reports much less tedious and time-consuming.
Travel apps like Uber and Car2Go can help employees who need to find ground transportation in a new city get quick access to taxi and car rental services. This reduces the time and energy employees must spend finding transportation, allowing them to focus on work priorities.
Camera and video applications make it easy for employees to transmit vital information back to managers in the central office. For example, a picture of a malfunctioning piece of equipment can be sent to the company’s maintenance department for advice on how to fix.
Employers once tried to reduce employee usage of smartphones and mobile devices by banning them from the office or setting strict limitations on their usage. These policies have largely failed, and employers are now learning to embrace these devices and find ways to make them productivity boosters instead of obstacles.
A recent Gartner survey of about 4,300 office workers found that 40 percent of them now use a personally owned smartphone or other device for work or business purposes. By embracing new technology instead of resisting it, businesses can make their employees’ lives easier by allowing them to use texting and social media to keep track of their personal lives while also gaining productivity through smart business apps.