Advancements in workplace technology make it easier for teams to collaborate and complete tasks from opposite sides of the globe. But despite helpful communication and project management platforms, inefficiency is as problematic as ever – so much so that European organizations are losing an estimated 20 working days a year due to inefficient working practices. To look at some of the root causes of workplace inefficiency and how to prevent it, researchers conducted the Chaos Theory Report: Project Management Chaos and How to Survive It. This study examines productivity in the professional environment and how organizations can cut back on expenses stemming from inefficiency.
Here are some of the findings from the report.
People are Overwhelmed with Projects
Everyone is a project manager.
Regardless of what your professional title is, chances are you’ve assumed the role of project manager at some point in your career. Whether running an entire department, taking the leadership role in group activities, or tackling projects just because they needed to be accomplished and there was no one else to complete them, project management is a part of everyday work life. In the professional world, project management is expected to be easy. After all, most organizations arm departments with enough management tools and communication platforms to ensure that the flow of work runs smoothly at all times.
But there’s just one problem: It isn’t working. In some instances, these project management resources are having an opposite effect. Employees and managers feel like they’re in constant communication 24 hours a day, leading to increased feelings of stress and fatigue.
Is modern-day technology designed to make communication easier actually working against employees, causing them to become more inefficient in the long run? Some researchers seem to think so. Despite its collaborative benefits, many employees admit that email communication contributes to their stress in the workplace due to the sheer volume of emails received throughout the course of a project. In fact, after-hours emails have become such a problem that France recently passed a law giving employees the right to ignore business emails when they’re not at work.
What’s more, many project managers report the lack of communication as their biggest challenge. But how can team members feel like they’re being bombarded with emails, while management feels there’s enough communication to work efficiently? The solution could be in the type of technology used in the workplace.
Is It Time to Ditch Office Emails?
Currently, 75% of workers surveyed feel that having access to better collaboration tools would aid them in boosting productivity, as well as increasing occupational happiness and making teamwork more effective. Unfortunately, not all organizations are on board. Half of the workers surveyed admitted that their IT departments were not supportive of new technology in the workplace. Similarly, a recent study found less than half the employees around the world are equipped with the proper technology to do their jobs effectively.
This new research indicates that technology isn’t the problem causing workplace inefficiency – at least, not when it’s utilized correctly. Instead, organizations aren’t equipping employees with the tools necessary to succeed. And in some cases, when workers do receive new technology, they don’t know how to use it because they haven’t been trained.
Where Do We Go from Here?
The right technology can completely transform the way teams complete tasks and get rid of workplace chaos. But how do you know what type of technology to look for? Here are some must-have components for any successful project management solution:
- Cloud technology. Managers and team members must be able to access important data from multiple devices and locations, so that they’re always one click away from the information they need.
- Better workflow management: Emails and sticky notes aren’t enough anymore. Team members need an online project room where they can communicate, work together, and help each other overcome challenges in real-time.
- While not directly related to project management, security is still the most important factor to consider when selecting a project management solution. Platforms that fail to protect your sensitive data leave you vulnerable to attacks that could damage your company’s reputation and ability to complete assignments.
The truth is that project managers rarely feel like they have enough time to accomplish their tasks, regardless of whether they stay in constant communication with their team members. However, integrating project management technology into the workflow is one way organizations can help reduce the amount of stress team members and managers experience in day-to-day operations. Not only does that help employees work more efficiently, it also helps to get rid of chaos in the workplace.