In our last blog post, we discussed the pros and cons to technology at work. Since technology is a tool that can both help your employees complete their work and add extra stress to their jobs, it’s important to try to maximize the benefits of technology while minimizing the consequences. Here are five tips for what you can do to best use technology at your organization:
1. Check emails and messages in batches
If receiving constant notifications is distracting to your work, you can mute notifications or put your phone on do-not-disturb mode. Then check all your messages at once every given number of minutes or hours. Of course, this depends on the nature and urgency of your work, but research does show that email batching both reduces stress and increases productivity. Teach your employees and colleagues this technique too.
2. Gain insight on who you are working with
Every individual has different preferences and unique personalities. Tools such as the DISC (see: Using DISC Behavioral Styles to Motivate Employees) can give you insight into your employees’ individual work and personal styles. This can both help reduce miscommunication and allow for some boundary setting around when it’s appropriate to contact each other for work.
3. Delayed send option
If the email isn’t urgent, try using the delayed send option. You can actually schedule your emails to send at a given time, so if you find it convenient to answer emails on a Saturday afternoon you can schedule it so your colleague receives it on a Monday morning.
4. Technology cannot always replace traditional methods
Sometimes you just have to talk something out on the phone or meet face-to-face. Although scheduling a block of time to talk or meet can seem like a hassle at the moment, it could save time in the long-term if it means less miscommunication and less damage control.
5. Keep in mind that new technology has a learning curve
Although a new technology program or update might be intended to make work more efficient in the long-term, it may take some time for employees to get used to the change and therefore cause an increase in workload in the short-term. It’s important to account for this adjustment period and offer employees the support and resources they need to keep up.