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Essential Tools for a More Productive Workforce

In an episode of the 1990’s iconic sitcom, “Friends”, Chandler (Matthew Perry) was in the coffee shop boasting about his new laptop, quoting specs like 500MB hard drive, 12MB of Ram, a modem that transmits at over 28,000 BPS, and built-in spreadsheet capabilities. Wow. Imagine what an “essential tool” that could be for you today!

Today, terabyte drives (1,000,000 megabytes) are common for less than the cost of a 1994 400MB hard drive, 8GB of Ram is becoming standard (16GB is very affordable), and a modem that transmits at 28,000 BPS is obsolete.

Outdated technology is holding employees in the modern workforce back from driving process efficiency and productivity. Millennials in particular, believe that workplace technology and policies impede productivity. Furthermore, these technology issues are leading employees to download and use unauthorized applications, which can cause headaches for IT departments and serious security threats. By mobilizing your workforce with the right tools, technology, and connectivity, you can make them more productive, increase their job satisfaction, and attract the best talent.

Cloud-Based Collaboration & Productivity Tools

G Suite is an all-in-one solution from Google Cloud (formerly Google Apps). Its intelligent apps (Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar) work simultaneously to provide an effective collaboration platform for your employees, no matter where in the world they are.

Online collaboration tools such as Slack or HipChat enable real-time communication. They make it easier to for team members to chat and stay up to speed in real time and keep everyone on the same page. The right tool for you depends on your needs.

Although instant messaging is today’s go-to communication, for businesses it’s vital to use an instant messaging app with end-to-end encryption to protect the security of proprietary data. There are a variety of apps to choose from, but one of the most popular, WhatsApp, recently implemented end-to-end encryption.

Business success relies on feedback—whether from customers, employees, or prospects, regular input helps gauge overall satisfaction, enthusiasm for new initiatives, employee engagement, and trends. SoGoSurvey’s online survey software is an easy, fast and affordable way to collect information about your employees or market.

For a quick pulse check, SoGoSurvey’s online poll is a simple way to gather data about one question. Find out in real time what your employees, customers, and co-workers think about important matters: your new and existing products, events, services, and even people. Online polls give you instant results to help you make sound business decisions. Essential tools for essential answers!

Online forms are focused on helping you gather data and include many of the same question types as a survey app—multiple choice, drop-down fields, etc. Forms are easy to distribute via email, social media, or even embed on your website for easy access.

Online Collaboration Tools for Video Chat

Sometimes seeing people’s faces enhances communication; when you need to talk face-to-face with remote staff or team members, as well as third-parties, you need online collaboration tools for video chat.

Most of us are already familiar with Skype, but there are other great options to consider. Appear.in is a simple app that lets you video chat with up to 8 people at a time (12 with the paid version). There’s nothing to register for or download, and you can even screen-share. For bigger teams, Google Hangouts allows you to video conference with up to 100 people at the same time, and it integrates with Gmail.

Online Collaboration Tools for Project Management

For a large organization with remote employees working together, managing projects and monitoring progress can be a daunting task that is magnified when projects are fast-paced, and employees are shifted to different teams to meet changing business needs. Online collaboration tools such as Trello and Asana help remote teams organize and track the progress of projects down to the task level. Both of these online collaboration tools have excellent apps for the mobile workforce to keep track of project tasks.

Cassettes have come and gone and pagers are totally archaic. Sooner or later most “essential tools” become outdated. Thanks to exponentially advancing technological progress, cloud deployments available to today’s mobile workforce can generate a significant competitive advantage for the organizations using them most effectively.