December 21, 2020
Recommended / Technology

Small Business IT Productivity: Top Trends for 2021

Written by Jeff Gaines

As the year comes to a close, it is important to reflect on what exactly kept the business gears turning. Every year the standard business model changes just a bit, and 2020 has done far more than just prove this to be true. Out of all the confusion and uncertainty 2020 has come with, one thing is for sure: business in a general sense has permanently changed. But change is not a bad thing! Change is a great way to increase productivity, and there are ​several trends to remember​ as 2021 approaches.

Remote Communications

The most notable example of change in the business model this year is the acceptance of a completely remote workplace. Even after the pandemic subsides, it is unlikely that the entire remote workforce will completely re-integrate to on-site, opening up new opportunities to change the way employees communicate. One of the keys to productivity is communication, and apps like ​Slack​, ​Microsoft Teams​, Zoom​, and ​Google Meet​ are constantly updating and adding new features to help make communication easy. The constant review and debate sparked by easy communication is a great way to keep employees engaged and productivity rising.

Mobile-First Communication

Another thing to remember is the importance of mobile-first communication. It is currently estimated that the tech-savvy ​millennials make up the majority of the workforce​, so a transition to mobile-first communication that most millennials are comfortable with is inevitable. This makes the integration of the aforementioned apps even more important, as many of them are able to be used from both a computer and a smartphone. Instead of resisting the demographic change by sticking to old methods, moving forward with what the workforce is most comfortable with will have a far better effect on both productivity levels and contentment.

Multitasking Avoidance

Keeping priorities in line is huge for maintaining productivity. Only working on the most important projects first will help them get done faster and better; in other words, multitasking is detrimental to productivity and should be avoided. While this might mean that not everything will get done at once and schedules will have to change, it does mean that projects will be finished with less mistakes and employees will show more engagement and better performance.

End-User Engagement

Productivity​ is an incredibly important aspect of business, but productivity cannot happen without consumers. Recently, it has been seen that users feel more comfortable using a service that has an abundance of user reviews than using one that has an abundance of peer reviews and few user reviews. Priotizing user reviews is a great way to keep users engaged. On a different note, it has also been seen that users prefer businesses that make an active effort to improve their environmental sustainability. Sustainability is incredibly important for obvious reasons, and now is an unavoidable aspect of business if a company wishes to stay afloat. The new year brings about new opportunities to take advantage of the trends seen over the last year, but as usual, it is important to stay open-minded and flexible as the times continue to change.

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Jeff Gaines

Jeff Gaines

Jeff has served as an operating executive at Interlaced since 2016. He is deeply passionate about driving impact for Interlaced, for his community, and for his loved ones. In his spare time, Jeff loves spending time with his wife and son at the world famous San Diego Zoo, enjoying tacos on the beach in Baja, cheering on the San Diego Padres, adventuring outdoors and playing music with friends. Jeff’s top 3 films of all time are Point Break (the original), Road House and Field of Dreams.