As businesses begin to adopt cloud technology, many are also introducing Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. And this makes sense. From iCloud to Hive, we use these types of applications all the time to enhance our home lives. So why not at work? Here’s 10 reasons why you should introduce workplace apps.
1. There’s never been a better way to de-clutter your mind
Applications have always been extensions. Not just for our browsers and our phones, but for our minds too. (Or, if you want the less profound version: a place to dump things in their respective boxes.) Many workplace apps help us to compartmentalise by focusing on one or two specific business functions. The best ones let you attach documents and notes directly to whatever it is you’re working on – drag and drop is even better. Apps give you the great feeling of knowing all your work is safe, secure, and exactly where it’s supposed to be.
2. Project management is no longer chaotic
Lets get real for a second – project management is messy. Lots of ideas, too many to-dos and constant updates buzzing around – all of which we try to capture with whiteboards, paper or our poor old working memory. But platforms like Basecamp or Asana mean projects can be organised in one central, open space that’s accessible to the whole team. Using social media at work can also be handy for project management – we use an app called Slack which allows us to create different topic ‘channels’ for discussions.
3. Attract top talent with employee experience
Great employee experience is the new business target to aim for, and apps are the answer. As remote working takes off, people now expect a tech-powered environment and ‘gamification‘ of the working day. But when you introduce workplace apps, you can also foster a better workplace culture. Social media and new communications tools relax formalities, break down hierarchies and help us build better working relationships. With this kind of experience, who wouldn’t want to work for you?
4. The data you need is just ‘there’
Most cloud-based apps keep automatic data trails. If an employee is looking for a specific bit of information, they can usually search a term and use filters to find what they need quickly. If you introduce workplace apps with this functionality, it also means managers can pull off detailed reports easily too. Things like compliance, monitoring, and watching incomings/outgoings become simpler, and you get effortless control over your data.
5. Apps let you make fast decisions on the go
Owner-managers often make hundreds of decisions in a day. But despite many of these being niggly ‘micro decisions‘ like approving time off requests, we still insist on unnecessary meetings, arduous form-filling, long email chains, or overrunning on a call. Instead, communicate through apps. Employees can ping you a message, you get it instantly through push notifications on your device, and you can respond quickly wherever you are.
6. They give us feedback and make us feel loved
When we finish a long manual task – like a spreadsheet or lots of paperwork – we don’t get much positive reinforcement in return. Just silence and sadness, when we realise how much time it took. But as well as speeding things up, some apps are interactive and give us updates on our progress. Whether it’s ‘ding’ from ToDoist for completing a task, or Mailchimp’s virtual ‘high-five’, a little bit of positive feedback goes a long way with motivation.
7. Productivity and innovation will soar
Okay so on a basic level, the mobility and speed of apps means we’re more productive. We can physically switch between apps and shift mindsets easily. And if somebody is stuck on a train, or needs to stay home for a delivery, they can still work on their personal device. But, there’s also a deeper reason for this boost in productivity: we’re happy. By using apps, we can actually achieve that better work/life balance we’re all craving. Plus, getting small tasks done quickly means more hours in the day for the rewarding, higher-value work.
8. Teams will become self-organising
When you give people the kind of freedom and responsibility that leads to greater productivity, you’d be amazed at how far this can go. In the right conditions (don’t forget, you can’t just rely on the technology, you need to be a good manager, too) your team will collaborate and figure things out together without the need for hand-holding. If you give people the tools they need, they’ll use them.
9. Keep up with conversations and communicate better
When you introduce workplace apps that allow more open and visible communication, you begin to get a clearer picture of what’s going on in your business. Communicating with your team on the issues that matter will become easier. You’ll also be able to see what’s going right, and resolve any problems before they escalate. We’ve just introduced an app that lets us vote on decisions with no fuss.
10. Introduce workplace apps to enable agility
By introducing workplace apps, you’re giving yourself a better chance at staying agile. Not just through project management and team communications, but also through cost benefits, too. Most SaaS apps work on a cheap, subscription-based model which is ideal for a growing, nimble business. Unlike on-premise technology, there’s no commitment and your tech investments are scaleable. Get the right apps for your business, and they can be as agile as you are.
Why not give ours a try?
Here at Turbine we’ve developed our own app that helps you keep track and manage three key things: time off, expenses and purchase orders. We’re always refactoring and updating functions, too. The latest one means you can now integrate our app with other cloud apps. This works through a product called Zapier, which sets up ‘if-this-then-that’ commands to give you automated workflows and notifications, so you never miss a beat with your business.
Get a free trial of Turbine here!
Hat-tip to douliekkookies for the image