Whether you work remotely or in an office, staying focused sometimes feels like an insurmountable task. A couple of cars drive by with music blaring loud enough to vibrate your house. Your boss and a few co-workers call back-to-back with questions and immediate requests. And a member of your company’s executive team just scheduled a last-minute meeting that’s flashing reminder notifications on your screen.
When you multiply these interruptions and distractions across an entire team, it’s easy to see why increasing productivity is hard. Yet leading a team means you’re held accountable for the group’s efficiency and quality of work. Besides distractions, personality differences, misunderstandings, and variations in work styles can all dampen productivity.
Fortunately, teams can use tech tools to help prevent or overcome common hurdles. Even if your group is already relatively efficient and cohesive, technology can elevate their performance. Below are three types of teams that could benefit from productivity software.
1. Software Developers and Engineers
There are a ton of intricacies that go into creating software. One small mistake in your team’s code, and an entire project can get derailed. Sometimes the final version remains off track for months as your software engineering team goes over every detail. Other times, deliverables get held up because handoffs and collaboration aren’t occurring, or there’s an overall lack of direction.
With so many moving parts and individual contributors, the team needs to know who’s in charge of what. Everyone also has to see when specific pieces are ready for the next stage or responsible party to take over. Software that features Kanban boards or Scrum frameworks can help keep projects moving forward.
Using these tools, all employees can view overall progress, deadlines, to-do lists, reports, and individual assignments. As a leader, you’ll benefit from seeing who’s working on multiple projects and where potential bottlenecks are. Maybe one coder has too many apps in development stages and needs help. Other team members might just have finished their outstanding tasks and could jump in.
You can instantly reassign items to even out the workload, and everyone involved will receive notifications indicating why. Each project can keep progressing, and your team will no longer be in danger of missing deadlines.
2. Marketing and Creative Professionals
If you’re leading a team of creatives, you know it takes all hands on deck to get something done. Because of the way the creative process works, though, marketing teams may become distracted by side conversations and online research. Repetitive brainstorming, writer’s block, and pressure to come up with a genius idea make social media and other distractions tempting.
Top that off with the fact that team members aren’t always working in the same location. A September 2021 Gallup poll found that 25% of employees are working from home full-time. Another 20% of staff are remote at least part of the week.
Without some way to communicate across distances and schedule differences, you can be left in the dark about deliverables and work. Your social media manager, traditional media coordinator, and graphic design and content teams may become disorganized. Sure, there’s a new promo coming out next Thursday, and everyone’s aware of its general scope. However, not everyone knows the exact business rules and what ads and content they need to create.
Collaboration and communication software organizes and centralizes all this information. Your product manager could upload restrictions and exclusions, legal copy, and dates. You can outline what content the team needs to produce, along with deadlines. Once the content’s approved, those responsible can message your media team that it’s ready to post and distribute. With collaboration apps, teams can sync their workflows and ensure everyone stays on the same page.
3. End-User IT Support Teams
IT professionals who support end users work in diverse team environments. They might resolve customer issues for a consumer tech giant or provide internal tech support for employees of a law firm or bank. They could be employed in the private or public sector.
Consider techs who work for public school districts, serving internal users remotely and on-site. Their weekly schedules might involve taking service desk calls and troubleshooting issues through remote access software. The rest of the week, these workers travel between different schools and buildings to fix problems that require on-site assistance.
Some of these support requests come from internal emails or when employees see techs in the building. Others started as help desk calls technicians determined needed in-person work, such as replacing a bad memory stick. Trouble ticket or help desk software ensures all these requests get tracked and that any tech can take over.
Say someone is out sick, but there’s a high-priority ticket in that person’s queue. Front-line supervisors can sort and locate any urgent work orders assigned to a technician and quickly reassign them. The employee who receives the ticket glances through the issue’s description and any case notes the absent team member started. A newly assigned tech will reach a resolution more quickly by analyzing the troubleshooting steps that have already been performed.
The reporting capabilities of trouble ticket software also give managers a way to analyze trends. You can see volume per location, time of year, technician, and user. Help desk software also tracks the amount of time your team spends on each ticket. Reporting features reveal what issues are taking longer to resolve, indicating potential training or staffing needs.
Running a Tight Ship
As a leader, it’s on you to make sure your team is efficient and well-organized. While occasional distractions and mishaps are part of any group effort, poor synchronization is often to blame for complete disasters. Although you’re not likely to change personalities or work methods, your employees can use software to enhance group productivity. Software engineering, creative content, and technical support teams have a better-than-average chance of benefiting from productivity tools and tech.
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.