Harsh economy: Businesses must collaborate through effective workplace tech


By Juliet Umeh



Amid economic challenges, inflation and dollar fluctuation, the Country Manager of a technology- based platform, Zoho Nigeria, Mr. Kehinde Ogundare has urged business to collaborate for productivity by adopting effective workplace technology.

Speaking on work trends and collaboration technologies that businesses should pay attention to if they want to make the most of 2024, Ogundare listed the following:


*Automation is everywhere including in employee expenses


Over the years, we’ve seen the automation of many business processes. Those advances will continue at an even faster pace in 2024 and beyond. One area that’s particularly ripe for innovation around automation is employee expense reporting. For employees, remembering to log expenses and keep 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 likewise be incredibly time-consuming.

Automating expense reporting can help organisations manage employee travel, make payments faster, and provide comprehensive analytics for expense reports related to travel, spending, and reimbursements.

*The rise of productivity tools and collaboration platforms


Tied to automation is the rise of productivity tools, which one can think of broadly as pieces of software that simplify tasks, streamline workflows, make team collaboration smoother, ease communication, and improve access to work info. In other words, they help employees do more in less time.

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.


*Ticketing applications enhance customer satisfaction


Today’s customers expect to be able to contact an organisation on the channel of their choosing, and to get an immediate response when they do so. 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 with the right context and on time.

Ticketing applications can save a lot of time on that front by automating the process of assigning customer inquiries to the right 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.


Paring back the technologies that don’t make sense


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 seemed essential at one stage can end up not being useful.

Organisations should therefore spend at least some time in 2024 auditing the tools they use. They should axe any that aren’t in use, and thereby save the company money and further streamline productivity and collaboration. Additionally, they should see if they can replace any of the tools they’re using with something in a productivity suite that they’ve adopted.

Even as businesses are well into the year, it’s never too late to capitalise on productivity tools and collaboration platforms. While organisations can’t fully control external forces shaping their operations, by embracing the right digital toolset and technology, they can enhance their competitive edge and navigate through changes effectively.

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