Whether your employees work on the go, at the office, or a combination of both, they’re likely doing all they can to stay productive. Yet there are some things, such as the technology they use, that are beyond their control. And when that technology doesn’t support the pace of today’s business, productivity can take a hit.
How Does Updating Technology Support Productivity?
The root causes of productivity losses aren’t always obvious. It’s often the little things that add up over time, like a device that crashes too often or collaboration tools that fall short. Here are a few ways that updating your technology supports better productivity.
Fewer freeze-ups and slowdowns, with more streamlined workflows
Imagine that you’re working hard, but your computer unexpectedly crashes. It’s frustrating, it slows down your workflow, and the lost time adds up fast. For example, a user who experiences a five-minute technology slowdown every hour loses about three hours a week. Over a year, that adds up to roughly 145 hours. Updating technology helps solve the “small” productivity killers that can have significant impacts.
Lower cybersecurity-related risks
Cybercriminals are constantly inventing and reinventing ways to target your small business. And if you’re using older technology, you might be at even greater risk. PCs more than five years old represent 34% of malware attacks, compared to just 6% of devices less than a year old.3
An attack on your small business can bring your most critical systems to an unexpected halt, slowing down productivity. Newer technologies help you close security gaps to help keep your systems safer.
Remote manageability for off-hours maintenance
Keeping your employees working quickly and efficiently requires ongoing maintenance. Remote monitoring and management (RMM) help you manage your teams’ devices whether employees are at the office or on the go–with the added bonus that you can update systems when it’s convenient for you. It also allows you to more effectively secure your endpoints, networks and computers–ultimately helping you reduce risks.
Anytime, anywhere collaboration
Your employees need to connect, meet, and collaborate throughout the day, and often from many different locations. Technology that comes up short can create all types of roadblocks that slow down productivity. Anytime, anywhere collaboration tools help employees manage all the moving parts of a project–everything from assigning tasks to hitting deadlines to sharing files. So, whether workers are at the office or thousands of miles apart, it’s easier to collaborate, connect, and stay productive.
How to Choose the Best Collaboration Tools
As a small business, you want to help your employees do their best work. But choosing the right tools isn’t always so straightforward. Here are a few steps to consider taking:
Find out where employees are hitting roadblocks
Talk with your workers to figure out where they’re hitting productivity snags. Maybe screens are constantly freezing up, file sharing isn’t as seamless as it should be, or workflows are broken. Once you define the problems, you can figure out how to fix them.
Define your goals
Once you’ve spotted the problems, you can create some goals. For example, maybe you want to help your remote and on-site employees have better collaboration experiences. Or maybe you need to reduce a certain type of technology error. Define your goals so you can figure out which type of technologies can help.
Inventory existing technologies for remote work capabilities
Along with setting goals, look at existing technologies to make sure they support remote work. Do your current tools do a good job creating connections and supporting productivity?
For example, devices that are built for growing small businesses, like Intel vPro® Essentials, help give your small business the flexibility required to support remote workers.
Identify security risks and the technology that helps reduce them
As more employee's transition to remote work, criminals target the technologies that support them. During 2019, 66% of small and medium-sized businesses suffered a cybersecurity attack.4 By 2021, the number of cyberattacks on businesses per week increased by 50%.4
The impacts of a potential attack range in severity and size but include a common element–productivity losses. That’s why security is so important. The best security starts at the hardware level. The Intel vPro® platform gives you innovative hardware-based security that helps protect against leading security threats.
Types of Work-from-Anywhere Technologies
You’ve set some goals to help improve productivity; now you need technologies that support your small business and the new way employee's work. Here are a few tools to consider:
Videoconferencing tools became even more popular during the pandemic, and their use is expected to grow. Gartner predicts that by 2024, only 25% of meetings will take place in person. Make sure your existing tools support productivity and security.5
Project management tools
Project management tools help your team plan, collaborate on, and execute projects. Workers can define tasks, assign those tasks, monitor progress, and more. These types of tools help keep your remote workers in sync, regardless of location.
Collaboration software helps keep your employees and workers connected. Popular tools include shared calendars, live chats, videoconferencing tools, instant messaging apps, and more. The goal is to support productivity through more transparent connections and collaboration.
Have you ever managed multiple versions of the same document? If so, you know the importance of file sharing. It allows your employees to easily share files inside and outside the organization. File sharing saves time, eliminates version control issues, and allows you to set file permissions and limited access.
Data security tools help keep your sensitive data safe and out of the hands of unauthorized users. This security safeguard helps reduce the risk for cyberattack, which is a huge drain on productivity. Data security covers everything from your hardware to software, user devices, administrator controls, and more.
Collaboration and Security
You want to give employees the tools they need to stay productive but also the security required to keep cyber thieves out. And when you combine improved security with employee training, you can do an even better job of keeping threats at bay. Here are a couple of things to think about doing:
Train employees on cybersecurity risks
Employee mistakes are a leading cause of data breaches.6 An innocent action, such as clicking a malicious link, can open the doors wide to risk. Keep your employees productive and secure by teaching them how to spot threats and avoid the most common cybersecurity mistakes.
Use virtual private networks
To keep remote workers connected, you might consider using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN helps off-site workers stay productive with access to the apps and data they need, while providing an extra layer of security by encrypting the data sent over the network.
How Intel Supports Improved Productivity
As your business grows and changes, you need technology that keeps up. Intel vPro® Essentials supports remote workers while enhancing security.
And when you see the Intel vPro® Essentials label on your PC, you know your new device offers out-of-the-box, hardware-based security features and the latest collaboration technologies to help your employees improve productivity.