Alastair Campbell, Texthelp

Unlocking productivity: how can tech help?

Like many other organisations, here at Texthelp we’re often asking ourselves some big questions. How can we genuinely improve productivity on a sustainable basis? And how can we give our employees the scaffolds and support they need to be more efficient and engaged?

We’re an award-winning tech company. Innovation is ingrained in everything we do. And that means that we’re constantly looking for smarter, more creative ways to optimise and streamline our own business processes.

We’ve recently tweaked our approach to our day to day activities. And as a result, we’ve discovered that tech can help us be even more productive than we thought possible - every day.

At Texthelp we’re very familiar with thinking and working digitally 

It’s what we’ve done for the last 22 years. But this is far from being the case for all organisations, especially those outside the technology sector that’s our own home. Here’s an eye-opening statistic. 75% of UK managers, particularly in SMEs, aren’t fully aware of technology’s potential to boost productivity. And in parallel with this, a survey of 5,000 executives in 27 countries by Oxford Economics and SAP has revealed that European businesses don’t have the technology and strategies to manage their workforce effectively.

It’s clear that many organisations are apprehensive about fully embracing the benefits of technology within the workplace.  Two frequently-cited reasons for this are a fear of the unknown, and a reluctance to change: “we’ve always done things this way.”

Reluctance to jump in is holding companies back

It’s depriving them of opportunities for more flexible working, efficient communications and streamlined project management – just some of the benefits we enjoy here at Texthelp.

Research by the LSE suggests that actively investing in technology plus improved management processes can enable a more agile, adaptable workforce – and raise productivity by as much as 20% (source).

Adopting an agile approach

We couldn’t agree more. By adopting an agile approach, slow, monolithic projects have been replaced by a series of short, sharp incremental sprints. As a technology developer, it means we can write higher-quality software much faster and more efficiently, looping in the voice of our customers and making effective use of feedback at every step of the process.

Making this shift to an agile working model has meant a re-examination of our own processes and methodologies. We’ve embraced cloud-based project management tools that helps individuals and bigger teams collaborate tightly on tasks of any size. Everyone can instantly see what everyone else is doing, and when they’ve done it. There’s less ambiguity, less uncertainty – and much better visibility on progress, milestones and any obstacles along the way.

We’re also big users of Google hangouts. These are effectively huddle spaces that allow people to meet virtually and discuss issues without picking up the phone or booking a meeting room. It’s speedy, spontaneous and hugely productive.

It goes without saying that we’re totally mobile

We rely on our laptops and smartphones to keep an eye on emails and notifications while away at a conference or waiting at the airport. And with cloud-based tools like Google Drive, anybody can access any file from anywhere, on any device. Several people can work on a document, spreadsheet or presentation at once, seeing everyone else’s changes in real time.  Once you’re used to this way of working, you’ll never go back to the painful inefficiency of editing and saving a file, then emailing it – with a new version name – to a colleague and waiting for their own changes to come back.

‘Disruption’ is a word that gets thrown around pretty freely these days. But compare the way organisations like ours work today with the picture just five years ago – and it’s an apt description indeed.


Want to know more about how today’s tech can boost productivity in your own workplace? Get in touch and find out how our own tools can help you get more done, quicker.


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