Technology has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past few years. While these advances make many areas of our lives better, one of the hallmarks of great innovations is that they make it easier to do business. Since studies have shown that happy employees are up to 20 percent more productive than their gloomy colleagues, it's obvious that increasing worker happiness could have financial benefits. Fortunately, many technologies are focusing on just that.
1. Automation Tools
One way to create dissatisfied employees is to impinge on work-family balance. Sadly, this is a frequent occurrence these days. In fact, a Gallup poll found that the typical “40-hour work week” comprises 47 hours on average, and around 40 percent of American employees actually work 50 hours a week.
Automation is helping to reduce time spent in the office. Everything from Tier 1 support desks to email marketing can now run on autopilot. There are even automated calendar tools, such as Calendly, that allow clients and colleagues to make appointments in an employee's calendar without having to speak with anyone.
Telecommuting encompasses a wide range of technological advancements. These include VoIP phone networks and service as a software (SaaS) tools. Allowing employees to telecommute can easily save a company money, but it can also lead to happier and more productive workers.
As it turns out, several studies have found that telecommuters are happier with their jobs, receive higher performance evaluations and experience less exhaustion. In the end, this means higher productivity achieved by simply using a bit of technology.
3. Chatting Tools
In March of 2016, Business News Daily released an article titled “Unhappy Employees? 4 Things That Are Driving Them Crazy.” The very first thing it mentions is email overload — a majority of workers say that over one-fifth of the work emails they receive don't pertain to them at all. This just creates additional headaches.
Chat apps are one method of minimizing this type of stress. While it's not ideal to have employees download Facebook Messenger, there are tools specifically geared to companies. One such app is ChatWork, which allows real-time conversations with coworkers and managers, whether in-house or across the globe, and reduces the strain on employee inboxes.
4. P2P Recognition Software
In addition to making employees happy, the aforementioned tools increase overall productivity. Peer-to-peer (P2P) recognition tools, however, are focused solely on mental well-being. A recent study found that 43 percent of unhappy employees feel down and out merely due to lack of recognition.
To combat this, companies are using software such as Tap My Back and Motivosity. These and many other apps increase employee engagement and allow workers to motivate each other. Management can't always be present to pat someone on the back, but these P2P software suites certainly can.
5. Employee Happiness Analytics
Analytics is one of the most powerful tools available to companies. Through simple data analysis, it's possible to predict consumer behavior and take note of business practices that actually work. And, thanks to startups like Polly.ai, analytics can also be used to improve employee happiness.
The tool allows employers to immediately elicit feedback from workers. Employees can share thoughts on meetings, company tools and a variety of other business concerns. While this information might not immediately increase employee happiness, it can help entrepreneurs figure out how to keep staff in a chipper mood.