ith more employees demanding to keep their work-from-home lifestyles, and more employers offering such opportunities, we’re starting to see a workplace that looks very different than just a couple of years ago. We’re starting to see companies adopt a hybrid workplace where some employees are continuing to work from home, and others are in the office. But what might this new landscape look like with team productivity tools? How might these tools affect those that work from home? Will they be less productive than their coworkers that are in close communication every day?

These are the questions that technology is trying to solve. But with the advancement in automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, these hurdles are much easier to get over. Productively tools are bridging the gap between remote workers so that teams can work just as effectively as if they were in the office — often better.

Let’s take a look at how the right team productivity tools impact employee performance in the modern workplace.

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A Fully Connected Workplace

Bridging the gap between remote workers and in-office workers is now made possible with the right connectivity tools. This helps team members work together during the day and thus increases their productivity. A common example of this would be the use of file storage and synchronization services like Google Drive. Instead of emailing files back and forth, teams can now keep their documents all online in a shared folder. They can also decide who has permission to view, edit, or share documents within those folders.

There are also messaging apps like Slack that can connect employees with the information they need. This has the power to transform the way organizations communicate by bringing employees together to work as a unified team. It combines instant messaging, voice and video calls, and a suite of other tools that enable clear communication.

Employees can directly message each other, create group channels for certain projects, and integrate other applications such as Google Drive and Dropbox. These types of team collaboration tools are bringing teams together and enable employees to work from anywhere.

Streamlined Workflows

Productivity tools like task management software can help streamline workflows and better organize your employee’s tasks. These tools are organized systems that allow you to track task progress, delegate work to teams and members, set deadlines, adjust work schedules, and so much more. Whatever your team is working on — marketing automation, CRM, project tasks, invoicing, signatures, etc. — task management software helps you organize it all into one place.

Look for task management software that integrates other apps such as Slack, Salesforce, Zapier, calendars, and more. You’ll also want it to track task progress so you can easily see which state of a project everyone is on. And don’t forget about intuitive flexibility. You’ll want software that can be used for every type of use case, whether that be marketing campaigns, software development, or anything else. This ensures the software is effective at the enterprise level, and not just for one-off teams or departments.

Tools like MetaSpark use AI to automatically bring everyone’s tasks into one dashboard. So if you’re using Trello to manage tasks, for example, it will bring all of those tasks into the dashboard. Plus, it will integrate your calendars, communications apps, email, and virtually any other apps into one screen. This means your employees will no longer have to switch between so many apps throughout the workday. It's a dobule win: less data entry, and better task management.

Measuring Data and Results

The big problem organizations needed to deal with when employees moved to remote work was having to keep track of their productivity. A lot of companies chose to go with monitoring software to track their employees. These types of software can track employees’ every movement, from keystrokes to which websites and programs they’re using and who they’re sending emails to. While you might think that using software to track your remote employees would help increase efficiency, many employees are demoralized by this kind of software. When employees don’t feel trusted to do their job and aren’t given basic privacy protections, productivity can actually take a hit.

A good leader should measure data and results, not what an employee is doing every minute of the day. Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley, writes in Forbes that, “In this new environment, CIOs have a key role to play in protecting their fellow employees, their employers and society at large by rejecting the indiscriminate deployment of invasive employee tracking tools.” Instead, companies can use tools like MetaSpark, which focus on analyzing the output of employees’ work. After all, output is what really matters to the bottom line. Data-based performance management helps employees feel like their work matters, and so they will be more engaged in their work.

Reduce Day-to-Day ‘Noise’

A good productivity tool helps reduce day-to-day ‘noise’ from various apps and tools. Research conducted in 2018 showed that the average operational support worker switched between 35 different applications more than 1,100 times during their working day. While we think all these new technologies are helping us become more productive, at some point, they’ve become burdensome. But what if there was a solution that could take all the beneficial features of different applications and bring them together into one dashboard? That’s exactly what MetaSpark accomplishes. It puts info, tasks, emails, documents, and messages from different systems into one interface. No more switching between different apps and programs. Plus, your employees will get notifications and reminders when deadlines are coming up.

Reward A Job Well Done

Productivity tools that reward employees that complete tasks and meet deadlines help make work more enjoyable. If your employees are putting in hard work and don’t receive regular feedback, they’ll assume their work is going unnoticed and doesn’t matter. With a productivity tool like MetaSpark, employees will receive points whenever they complete tasks, so they feel like the quality work they do is being rewarded.

Once they receive enough points, they can redeem them for gift cards or donations to their favorite charity. People love checking things off a list or getting that rush of dopamine when a task is completed. Having a tool that visually helps them complete work will help a team’s morale, which directly leads to a higher level of productivity.

A New Class of Team Productivity Tools

Looking for a team productivity tool that has a positive impact on employee performance? MetaSpark, a new class of productivity software, is an AI-Driven Productivity Hub that automatically brings everyone’s tasks into one dashboard and analyzes their work output. As employees complete their work, AI analyzes it and generates productivity dashboards. In real-time, you can see which teams and individuals are most productive — and which may need some help. Even for remote employees!

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