As a manager, one of your responsibilities is to ensure that your team is productive and efficient. After all, you’re ultimately held accountable for your team’s output. However, data shows that knowledge workers are spending an average of 41 percent of the workweek on “discretionary activities that offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled competently by others,” said the Harvard Business Review.
That loss of two full days of work isn't necessary. Instead, “Knowledge workers can make themselves more productive by thinking consciously about how they spend their time, deciding which tasks matter most to them and their organizations, and dropping or creatively outsourcing the rest,” said the article.
A Strategy to Improve Managerial Productivity
There are many ways to strategically add that time back into your workday. Notably, one way to reclaim those two days is to become the Delegator-in-Chief and reassign many of your administrative projects. While delegating can ultimately improve company-wide productivity, it can be seen as not being a team player.
Instead of passing off tasks to other employees, a smart strategy to improving your productivity is to leverage technology. In other words, you can use digital solutions to help you work smarter, not harder.
Let’s review five different ways that technology can help managers add time back into their workday.
1. Structured Data
There’s a better way to communicate information than with an email messages or handwritten note.
With a mobile app such as Device Magic, users enter information on their mobile devices into customized form templates. This can be operational paperwork such as timesheets or functional reports such as inspection information.
Using mobile forms has an advantage over other forms of communication because it structures the entered information into labeled fields. For example, the costs will be all labeled as such. Therefore, mobile forms provide an efficient and streamlined way to gather information digitally, while also providing portable access via a mobile device.
Simply, going digital with your data collection saves time. After switching from paper forms to mobile forms, businesses save an average of 10 administrative hours each week.
2. Software Integration
The benefits of structured data extend to what additional functionality it opens up.
With mobile forms, the information that’s collected can be integrated into your existing business systems. This could mean customer purchase information could sync to Salesforce, financial info could sync to QuickBooks, photos could sync to Dropbox, or new reports trigger a Slack notification.
Device Magic offers more than 26 built-in integrations, so data can move seamlessly from the point of entry to its end destination. Using these integrations frees you up from the administrative overhead so you can work on other things.
3. Digital Automation
Using automation is another key way you can use technology to save time. While automation is typically thought of in terms of manufacturing or robotics, automating information workflows can result in similar productivity gains for managers. For example, you can automate a customer receipt email after a job is finalized, or you can notify staff members about the process update.
With digital automation, you’ll be able to take a hands-off approach to workflows while simultaneously shrinking process time from days to minutes.
Device Magic even lets you set up conditional automations, so workflows are dependent upon the information that's entered. For example, purchase orders over a certain amount may need to flow through accounting for approval.
4. Reduce Troubleshooting
When managing your business’ information, an error or a data discrepancy would require time spent troubleshooting, making updates, and communicating changes. Suppose your tech system could help you reduce the total number of errors so less problem solving is necessary.
Implementing Device Magic’s mobile forms can reduce errors and mistakes by 50 percent. That means that managers could save a significant amount of time troubleshooting problems.
This accuracy improvement is a combined result of multiple factors. First, when field workers are entering the data directly into the mobile form, the initial digital input avoids secondary data errors that stem from difficult-to-read handwriting or misentered information by a person not familiar with the project. Additionally, Device Magic provides powerful in-form calculations that can help users confirm accuracy as they’re entering the data and troubleshoot errors on demand.
5. Ease of Use
Another key way that Device Magic can help managers gain time is through its ease of use. This applies to a manager’s direct responsibilities, such as running data analytics and identifying trends. However, the usability for your team also affects how much follow-up a manager will face when reconciling accounts.
For example, when the delivery business From the Farmer switched to Device Magic’s mobile forms, driver compliance with the sign in/sign out process increased to 95 percent. Because drivers weren’t hunting for clipboards of paperwork, data inputs increased, which in turn provided managers with the much-needed information.
Plus, with Device Magic’s multimedia data collection, you could be gathering timestamps and GPS location in the background, while field workers have tools within the form to collect signatures, take photos, and make sketches.
By using the right tech tools, managers can reclaim some of the time they spend on administrative work. Device Magic is an award-winning mobile forms solution that’s easy to implement and can be easily scaled as your business grows.
Learn more about the benefits of using Device Magic.