4 collaboration and productivity trends for businesses


By Veerakumar Natarajan, Country Head – Kenya, Zoho Corp.

Over the past few years, economies both locally and globally have been facing significant changes, and businesses have had to work harder than before to pull through while ensuring growth and competitiveness. At the same time, managing staff experiences in the workplace and sustaining employee collaboration and productivity have also grown in importance amid all the challenges in order to maintain employee morale.

The nature of work is changing quickly, with remote and hybrid models being as common as on-site models. Employers must prioritize keeping staff members connected and engaged in the midst of all of these changes. One way businesses can sustain collaboration, productivity, and engagement levels among employees is through the use of effective workplace technology.

To make the most of 2024, here are a few work trends and technologies that businesses should pay attention to, in order to improve employee collaboration:

1. Automation can be found everywhere (including in employee expenses)

Automation of business processes has become a common practice, and some of these advancements will continue happening at an even faster rate beyond 2024. Employee expense reporting is one area that is particularly ripe for automation innovation. For employees, remembering to log expenses and keeping all of their receipts can be a painful experience. For the people charged with reconciling those expenses at the end of every month, doing so can be incredibly time-consuming.

Organisations that automate expense reporting can better manage staff travel, process payments faster, and offer detailed insights for travel, spending, and reimbursements.

2. The growth of productivity tools and collaboration platforms

The rise of productivity tools—which are essentially software programs that simplify activities, optimise workflows, promote team collaboration, simplify communication, and provide better access to work-related information—is closely related to automation. In other words, they help employees complete tasks faster.

Most businesses today use productivity tools of some kind. Organisations looking to add to their arsenals of business tools should look for software which, aside from providing a unified platform that supports both synchronous and asynchronous communication, also integrates contextually with business applications like CRMs so that workers can initiate ad-hoc conversations easily right in the business apps’ interfaces.

3. Ticketing applications enhance customer satisfaction

Modern day customers expect to be able to contact an organisation through the channel of their choice and get a prompt response. That’s not always easy for organisations to accomplish when they have to respond manually to inquiries through each of those channels. In fact, doing things that way makes it difficult to ensure that every ticket is answered accurately, in the right context, and on time.

In this regard, ticketing apps can save a great deal of time by automating the process of matching up client requests with the appropriate agent. They can also make replying to tickets intuitive, provide accurate sentiment analysis, and ensure that issues can be seamlessly resolved across departments, among other things.

4. Paring back outdated technologies

As exciting as these technological advancements are, it’s possible to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of collaboration and productivity tools available. As a result, some tools that initially appeared necessary at one stage can end up not being useful.

Organisations should therefore spend at least some time auditing the tools they use. Any that aren’t in use should be eliminated to save costs and improve collaboration and productivity. Additionally, they should see if they can swap any of the tools they’re using with something in a productivity suite that they’ve adopted.

While organisations can’t control outside forces that impact their businesses, with the right productivity and collaboration tools—and eventually, the right digital tool set and technology at large—they can sharpen their competitive advantage and ride out those changes.

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