We’ve all heard the old adage, it’s better to work smarter than harder. And what that means is that you shouldn’t be looking to spend all of your time working your fingers to the bone to achieve your goals, when you could be utilising tools and technologies to help you work more efficiently. Technology is one of the things that has driven this idea, yet is it astounding to us that so many business owners still work 20 hour days when they don’t have to. So to help you work smarter and not harder, we bring you 5 of our favourite efficiency hacks driven by IT.
Make Your Office Portable
Today’s business environment is all about being mobile, so if you want to work smarter, you should bring your office with you. Hosted desktop solutions remove so many business headaches by having your systems physically located off site on remote servers. This means that no matter where you are, you can log into and use your standard work desktop. It’s a fantastic solution for things like disaster recovery and backup, but it also means you can work from anywhere. So if you need to take the train across the country to see a client, you don’t have to spend hours staring out of the window thinking about how much work you could be doing. Just take your laptop, log into the WiFi and do it!
If you’re a bit of a night owl like me, then you probably find yourself getting a lot done outside of traditional office hours. While I am a firm believer in working when you work best, not everyone appreciates receiving emails from the late-working colleague. Boomerangs a fantastic little Gmail plugin that allows you to schedule and queue your emails to send later on. So you can write the emails as they are relevant to you, knowing that they won’t be sent until standard offices are open. So you can work whenever you want without the worry of bombarding your teammates, clients and vendors at strange hours of the night. It’s not so much of a hack as a nifty little app that lets me work in a way that works for me, without disturbing other people.
So many business owners end up burning out because they are trying to do too many things and balance too many plates, so eventually everything comes crashing down into shards of broken china. So one way all business owners could work smarter and not harder is by shifting some of those things off your plate. So figure out what elements of your business you don’t enjoy, or aren’t great at, and outsource them to an expert. Now, this might not seem like a ‘technology’ idea, but it is technology that’s enabled us to do this so well. For example, if you don’t enjoy doing the accounts, hiring an accountant used to be a very manual process (delivering invoices, receipts etc), but now you can simply install an app, snap photos and send them directly to your accountant, who can, in turn, send you a digital version of your accounts to sign. You can utilise the services of an IT guru to help you understand where technology can help you in your business, and as a bonus they can help you manage your IT, leaving you with more time to do the things you love.
If you were to take out your phone right now and go to the app store, you will see hundreds of thousands of apps. There is an app for everything these days, and many of those have been developed to help business owners work smarter. From conferencing apps to to-do lists, password storing apps, scheduling programmes, calendar apps and even collaborations platforms, all from your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. So spend some time identifying what you struggle with and have a browse through the app store, or type the problem into Google. I guarantee there will be a software solution out there to handle your issues, allowing you to make the most of your time – which is what this post is all about. As a disclaimer –please be careful and thorough when you’re downloading any software to your phone, tablet or computers. There are some fake software programmes out there designed to implant malware on your machine, so just make sure you do your research before hitting ‘download’.
Of course, there are many other ways technology can help you improve your work life. We have never lived in a more technologically advanced age, and that technology is for everyone. All you need to do is look around for the right solution for your business, whether that’s a new IT system that allows you to work remotely or an app that helps you stay organised. For more information on how technology can help you work smarter, not harder, or just to chat with us, get in touch today.