Do you find that a lot of your time at work is wasted on tasks that are only peripheral to your business? If so, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the way you work. Instead of putting in longer hours to stay on top of time-wasting tasks, employ technology to let you work smarter.
The wealth of technology that’s available to even a small business (with a similarly small budget) is amazing. The trick is figuring out how to employ that technology.
Working On The Move
How much time do you spend visiting clients, attending conferences, or working at a branch instead of your main office? For many people, the answer to that question is “too much time”.
There’s no reason for your productivity to plummet when you’re away from your desk. If you’re currently crippled without access to your PC, then it’s a good idea to explore mobile working options. Modern IP telephony makes it cheap and easy to keep in touch with your colleagues, and if you use a laptop or an ultrabook to connect to your company’s VPN you’ll be able to access all of your documents.
Of course, you’ll still have to report your expenses once you get back to the office, but that doesn’t have to be a chore that eats up half of your day. If you own a smartphone that runs any of the major OS-es (Android, Windows, iOS, Blackberry), then you can get OCR based receipt scanners that you can use to photograph your receipts as you go. This makes it a breeze to track your expenses, and means most of the work for your expense report is done before you even get back to the office.
How do you put together your invoices? If you’re still filling them out manually, and then entering them into a spreadsheet to put your accounts together, then maybe you need to update your processes. There are a lot of web based invoicing systems that tie in to accounts systems, track jobs, and put together invoices that can be emailed to clients. Instead of your invoicing being a chore, it will become a fast and easy process. Generating reports will be a breeze too.
Working on a large project can be a nightmare if the people involved with the project aren’t all based in the same office, but it doesn’t have to be that way. IP telephony solves part of the problem, but sometimes talking about an issue is too slow, and it’s easier to just point to a flowchart, look at a report, or work on a whiteboard together.
Collaboration suites such as SharePoint make that easy. It’s even easier if each office has a leased line and a nice fast VPN so that data can be synchronised in the blink of an eye. Instead of work slowing down to a crawl during peak internet usage times, a leased line will give you reliable, steady speeds at any time of the day.