It’s no secret: the workplace has changed dramatically over the past decade. In the old days, communication was slow and whoever you were reaching out to had to physically be at their desk in order to respond. Paperwork meant paper work: any files you needed to pull up meant a trip to the storage basement.
Luckily, technology has innovated productivity. Business leaders are able to move more quickly on decisions. Employees no longer have to work a strict 9 am to 5 pm shift—and aren’t afraid to take advantage of this. Plus, teams are not limited by proximity. You can have a global team working on any given project.
With that said, communication can still be a challenge. Even if our current tools are more efficient than using the old switchboard, we need new technology, such as productivity management software, to help us stay ahead of the competition.
Productivity management software allows you to digitally manage all of the day-to-day work it takes to run your business. For example, you might be using Slack to manage group conversations and G Suite to schedule conference calls. Whether you use productivity management software for remote teams or in an office, you have to make sure you are using the best tool to manage your tasks, projects, client lists, and more. Otherwise, is it even helping you?
Here are a few warning signs that your productivity management software may be slowing down productivity for your business:
1. You’ve lost track of contacts
Keeping your contacts organized is essential to both day-to-day operations and long term longevity. If you’re a nonprofit organization, this might be your list of past donors. If you’re a consulting firm, this might be a list of your previous clients. In any situation, if aren’t able to efficiently store and update your contacts—you might be in big trouble.
When using a productivity management software to store your contacts, you also have to keep in mind whether those contacts are accurate. Are you accidentally storing duplicate email addresses? Out of date phone numbers? Maybe there are a few mystery contacts that were added to the pile?
When you sort through your contact list, you shouldn’t be spending hours to get it up to par. The best productivity management software should do the work for you. Salesforce Classic, for example, allows you to merge duplicate contacts so as to streamline your contact lists and make them easier to read.
You may even be having the very simple issue that someone you just spoke with over the phone asked you to email them an update later in the week… and you can’t find their email. That’s a problem.
2. You’re missing deadlines
It’s human nature to underestimate how long it takes to complete a task. Even if you mark your calendar with a deadline, you may not actually see that it’s coming up until the day before or the day of. (In Google Calendar’s case, you’ll get a notification 10 minutes before).
Your productivity management software should be your partner-in-crime and make sure you know when your deadline is and the priority level for completing it. If you find yourself consistently missing deadlines, something is not working — and it’s not just you.
3. You’re overscheduling meetings
Meetings can be great for communicating quickly or working through a brainstorming session, but they can also be counterproductive and cause low morale if your workday is overscheduled with them. Not to mention the actual work of scheduling a meeting requires everyone to be available at the same time.
The worst part? 46% of employees report “rarely or never” leaving a meeting knowing what they’re supposed to do next.
With an effective productivity management software, it’s easy to share communication on specific projects or find out updates on where a team member might be with a deadline without having to schedule a time to do it.
If you feel the need to be in more meetings than necessary, that means you aren’t using the tools you have as effectively as you could. Luckily, with tools like Gryffin you can turn discussion into action and create tasks directly from your meeting notes so no need to wonder what you are supposed to do next.
4. You don’t know the owner of a project
Sometimes, it’s easy to figure out what needs to be done, but hard to figure out who is in charge of doing it. Especially when you have a larger team with many different leaders, you might delegate responsibility in one meeting, but then forget it in the next.
The ideal productivity management system should show clear roles and ownership of different projects outside of just administrators.
5. Your team won’t use it
Any productivity management software is a failure if you haven’t gotten the buy-in from your team. In fact, about 50% of any cloud-based software user only logs in about once a month or less.
When onboarding a new tool for your business, it’s important to set aside time to have your team learn how to use it. After that, the tool needs to be intuitive and make your team feel confident in using it every day.
The tough part is that people like routine, so switching to new technology can be challenging—but when it makes the work easier, that means a better investment in the long term.
6. You’re thinking too hard about how to change your workflow
As Bill Gates said, “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” This is not only true of tech essentials like smartphones or AI, but also true of the software we use to run our business.
Do you notice yourself making changes to how your team works in order to adapt to a management software? Or maybe you’ve gotten used to a process of doing part of the work manually, and part of the work in an automated system?
This is also an area where Gryffin can help (In fact, Gryffin was born because the tools we were using required us to do almost everything manually).
In any case, you are doing too much work to adapt to software, when the software should have been built to adapt to you.
7. You have no central place for all of your work
The most popular productivity management software tools tend to be very simple and sometimes specifically made for certain industries. Because of that, companies tend to need multiple tools in order to accomplish all of the work of their business.
For example, marketing agencies use an average of 12 different tools to track data and launch campaigns. Some use over 30. With each new tool, they have a new login, new programs to learn, and all need to be checked on a daily basis. That is a huge drain on time that could be spent better serving clients.
Of course, integrations have helped make progress in allowing for tools to “talk to each other”. However, having everything in one place is still the best way to manage productivity.
This is especially true if you’re a freelance (And 1 in 3 Americans are freelancers). What if you own or operate more than one small business or work as a contractor with multiple clients? You don’t want to create a brand new log-in across a million platforms every time you have a new gig. There are platforms out there that allow you to toggle between companies with ease.
It’s Time to Upgrade; What Are You Waiting For?
If any of these signs sound familiar, you probably already know that the next step is to find a solution. Looking for new productivity management software can be a scary thing to face. It means research, free trials, and possibly moving over all of your files from one system into another.
With that said, it’s worth the investment for an all-in-one tool that adapts to your work style and keeps your business moving. After all, it’s not called “productivity” management software for nothing!