How Xero Improved Productivity with a Digital Communication Tool (Plus 5 More Technologies You Can Use to Boost Productivity)

Xero digital communication tool

Office productivity is a key concern for any employer. It’s an even bigger concern when that company helps small businesses to stay on top of their finances. It takes game-changers, like a digital communication tool, to drive business success and digital transformation. When a company scales to the point where it has millions of customers spread over 180 countries, effective internal communication becomes a priority. 

That is the challenge that Xero faced when the company (which has over 3,000 employees around the world), discovered that its internal communication systems weren’t scaling well as the company grew.

For years, Xero used a trusted email system to enable employees to communicate. However, they discovered that this particular method of communication was breaking down, resulting in customer requests and queries getting lost. How could Xero solve the problem?

Xero implemented the use of Slack, a digital communication tool that offers instant messaging and the creation of specific workflow channels to improve internal communication. The company soon created dedicated channels for all of its departments, creating an increase in office productivity that benefitted both staff and customers. The more productive people are, the faster they’re able to complete projects.

Ultimately, having more productive people leads to higher profits and happier customers. Like Xero, your business needs more than solid support and proactive security; you need forward-thinking IT management that will not only improve current operations but put you well on the road to future growth. Xero found a way to enhance their productivity through a technological communication system and you can, too.

5 Ways to Use Technology to Boost Productivity

  1. Incorporate Virtual Meetings and Video Conferencing

Attending meetings can be an enormous time sink, especially when attendance requires commuting to a different office. The time spent on the road is time that employees cannot spend working, which creates inefficiency. 

Furthermore, many video conferencing tools, such as Zoom, allow attendees to share their computer screens when speaking. This allows for on-the-fly demonstrations of ideas that may not be possible in traditional meetings. The ability to record these video meetings also means that attendees can review crucial details later, eliminating the need to revisit issues.

  1. UseTimekeeping Software

As workplaces move towards increasingly digital and remote operations, timekeeping becomes a key concern. For example, you may have virtual assistants who do not work in your physical office. This creates a lack of oversight that some unscrupulous employees may take advantage of. Thankfully, there are various timekeeping software packages that allow you to track the activities of your remote employees using several techniques.

Some companies log keystrokes, which could allow them to best determine employee activity. Others may take screenshots of a virtual employee’s screen at random intervals during the day, allowing them to check if the employee is dedicating all of the time they’re paying them for their work.

  1. Keep Up-to-date Workstations

Many businesses avoid upgrading workstations and other hardware due to the immediate cost. Replacing hundreds of computers requires an upfront investment of thousands of dollars, leading to many businesses struggling with using outdated hardware. While sticking with old hardware allows a business to save money in the short term, it also slows down the workforce. The hardware won’t be capable of operating at the speed required. 

Aging systems may also not be compatible with modern software solutions, meaning employees get stuck dealing with antiquated systems that aren’t fit for purpose. This leads to hours of wasted time spent waiting for old systems to do their jobs. Upgrades may be costly in the short-term, but over the long-term, they lead to time savings and more efficient employees.

  1. Invest In Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

ERP software allows for simpler management of a wide range of business processes, including project management, accounting and supply chain management. Think of it as a centralized database that provides employees with rapid access to the information needed to do their jobs. Instead of having to examine dozens of different spreadsheets to find what they’re looking for, they can use ERP to get what they need fast.

Having all relevant information stored in a single location eliminates siloing, allowing for more effective communication between departments. It also provides enhanced visibility to management, allowing them to detect issues early and implement solutions quickly.

  1. Make Manual File Sharing a Thing of the Past

Imagine that you need access to a file before you can complete the task you’re working on. You send an email to the person who has that file but they’ve just stepped out for lunch and won’t be back in the office for some time. That means you have to wait to gain access to the file, resulting in the completion of your task getting delayed. These are the types of productivity problems that manual file sharing creates. By eliminating the manual aspect of file sharing, you improve office productivity immensely.

Consider using Slack, or other similar software, to pin key files to a channel so that employees have immediate access to them. It also helps to have a dedicated cloud-based file sharing platform that allows you to create file systems in real-time with shared access. This way, you ensure everybody who needs access to certain files can get them with no delays.

Benefit From a Digital Communication Tool and More 

There is no getting around the fact that implementing new technological solutions often requires investments in terms of both time and money. You may need to buy new hardware or spend time training your employees. However, the long-term productivity benefits far outweigh the short-term costs. The right digital communication tool can empower your people to work more efficiently.

At SkyTerra, we understand that managing your IT infrastructure isn’t as simple as it once was. You need a trusted advisor who listens to your technical needs, challenges and objectives, yet understands and considers the overall critical business role each plays toward the successful development of your organization. If you need help deciding which digital communication tool or new technology is the right fit for your business, contact us or book a meeting today.

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Darren Schriever

Darren oversees the Modern Data Center efforts at SkyTerra Technologies, as well as the company’s technology infrastructure.