Productivity in the workplace can be monitored in many different ways, with the main focus typically on the output, profit target or goals the business hits. And, with many industries having a turbulent year, these methods may not always have the desired effects.

In fact, a recent report from the Office of National Statistics showed that the productivity hours carried out had decreased by 0.1% in Quarter 2 (April-June 2018) compared to the previous quarter, despite a 0.1% growth in jobs during the same period.

While there are many traditional ways of measuring productivity, new technology is finding ways to boost productivity. So, whether you’re using virtual reality to make things more interactive and clearer to your employees, or you’re using tech to track and analyse performance, these innovative measures can maximise the productivity, and therefore success of your business. Here, we’ll be sharing four ideas for introducing new ideas to your business to boost your worker’s outputs.

Virtual reality can improve training without adversity

While many people might just think virtual reality (VR) is for video games, business owners are becoming more open to the idea as a way of boosting productivity in staff, especially for training. In circumstances where you wouldn’t want to expose your staff to the danger they might incur in the worst-case scenarios, virtual reality helps to make the training process more lifelike and educational.

This evolving technology can be useful for almost any company with fire practices and procedures, as it can show your employees what the scenario would be like, without the hazard being there in front of them. However, virtual reality can also be used to prepare your employees for risks attached to busy environments or increased workloads, as proven by VR specialists, Luminous Group’s visual distribution centres demos. As well as showing how to manoeuvre trucks and forklifts around busy stockrooms and warehouses, these demos can also be used to show how the manual handling aspects should run. So, you can train your employees for changing circumstances without having to halt any other area of work to do so.

Time tracking can make employees more conscious of their work

Time tracking can be an extremely useful resource to have installed within your workplace, whether it’s on your employees’ computers or by other means. This software can not only help them to manage a balanced workload, but it also has important features of allowing you to pinpoint exactly what blocks their productivity or at what time of day they seem to slump at.

Time tracking tools are best used when they’re automatic, as this doesn’t require employees to do anything and software can tick away in the background. Some of the latest time trackers are apps, like Timely, which can carry out the essential admin that distract your team from being productive, including logging the hours worked and creating timesheets. Using this type of software will ensure you’re able to monitor the important things and identify whether any work processes need changing.

Co-working with robots can have huge efficiency benefits

Co-working, as a general concept, can stir up more creativity, generate a larger pool of ideas and reduce the time spent unproductively. But, with the UK’s productivity figures around 18% below the average for the Group of Seven (Raconteur), it’s clear that human-to-human interaction just isn’t doing enough on its own. Robots have been the topic of technological change for a couple of years, but with many still hesitant of their worth and precision, businesses are missing out on the opportunity for a more productive workforce.

Most importantly to note is that the digital world is much further from replicating human-like intelligence than the public realises. In fact, there is good evidence from this Universal Robots Nissan Motor Company case study, that automation can assist in laborious industries where, for example, the aging workforce is at a higher risk of injury or illness. These robots can also be used to complete the menial daily tasks that hold your employees back from being productive in the areas that really matter, so having positive effects on your targets.

Introduce transparency with collaboration tools

There are many reasons behind workplace failures, but with 85% of executives blaming a lack of collaboration and communication (Elcom), it’s clear that many businesses should be creating a more transparent forum for workers. If you work in a digital environment, online collaborative frameworks can encourage everybody to share and develop ideas, as well as giving them a place to store all of their files and tasks.

Collaborative tools are likely to work best when they don’t require your workforce to constantly toggle between applications, and instead are integrated with existing enterprise systems. These technologies have been found to benefit a variety of existing workplaces. For example, the employees from CEMEX’s alternative fuels program managed to reduce the CO2 emissions by 1.8m metric tonnes per year, saving them more than $140m, simply by sharing ideas and experiences on an internal forum (Accenture). Looking at case studies like these, it’s clear that these integrative online forums can be a good way of both measuring and driving productivity for many business models.

With technology constantly evolving, it can be difficult to know which tools, applications and products to try out and which to give a miss. With these top four tips, some realistic assessment and communication, your company will be well on its way to boosting employee productivity and reaping the rewards.