How can businesses help employees work smarter, not harder?

Over the past few years companies in the UK have started wising up to the productivity problem plaguing the national workforce, and are beginning to consider how changes can be implemented to support and empower employees to be more productive. Productivity is a huge issue for governments, employers and employees alike, and getting it right isn’t just about simply making more “stuff” or working harder. At its heart it is about engaging and empowering employees to both achieve more and get more from the work they do every day.

As a result, gone are the days when simply burning the midnight oil or sending that late night email was enough to highlight hard work or catch a manager’s attention – now it’s time saving and productive approaches that will inspire appreciation and accolades.

“Productivity…is about engaging and empowering employees to both achieve more and get more from the work they do every day.“

The statement “work smarter, not harder” has never been more apt than it is now, when the possibility of flexible working, from any place and on any device, gives people the freedom to set their own working boundaries, and move that step closer to the elusive work/life balance.

But to increase overall productivity, an organisation needs to harness transformational technology and change the way it approaches working. Unfortunately, we still see people using new technologies in old ways, or using only a small percentage of its functionality.

In order to be successful, an organisation needs to empower its employees with a sense of purpose. It’s undeniable that technology has transformed modern working habits, but in order to harness all that it has to offer and work “smarter”, transformation must take place at the heart of organisation to make people fully aware of the changes possible and what the shift away from traditional methods can do.

As well as giving people the technology and mobility they need to work successfully, organisations need to ensure that people understand the purpose of their hard work and how it feeds into the “bigger picture”. Engaged employees who understand this, and their role in the company, will care enough to help drive real transformational change.

“Our future relies on harnessing technology to enhance the work that humans already do.“

Our future relies on harnessing technology to enhance the work that humans already do, so the first step to really transforming business lies with the people involved. By engaging employees and empowering them to transform the way they work, companies will inspire smart and productive outcomes that will lead them to a successful future.

Dave Coplin is Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft UK


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