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article imageQ&A: How effective is Slack for workplace productivity? Special

By Tim Sandle     Jun 29, 2019 in Business
Slack is closing in on six million daily users. However, some businesses have been questioning Slack’s effectiveness on workplace productivity — and there are alternatives, according to Philipp Weiser of AnyDesk.
For inter-office communication there is email, which remains a tried-and-true approach to office communication. In addition to this there are peer-to-peer systems, most notably Slack, which is closing in with six million daily users.
some businesses have been questioning Slack’s effectiveness on workplace productivity. Does the ability to send a quick, one-off note aid in productivity, or allow for the message to get lost in translation? In addition, a survey byIgloo found 43 percent of employees have avoided sharing a document with a colleague because they couldn’t find it or believed it would take too long to find.
There are better means to communicate at work, according to Philipp Weiser, CEO of AnyDesk and he provides Digital Journal readers with an insight into how collaboration tools are the future of workplace communication.
Digital Journal: When it comes to workplace tools, there are so many out there. How does a team go about choosing the best ones?
Philipp Weiser: The best tools are the ones that make your workplace more efficient and productive. This can be something as easy as a to-do-list app on your smartphone, for example.
Nowadays, at the office, it’s important to look out for tools that allow for collaborative work. Working on a project together and being able to access the necessary documents make teamwork all the more productive. The trick is to weed out unnecessary tools and not expect a tool that does all the work for you. Ideally, you want a helper for day-to-day tasks that would otherwise slow you down. Accounting tools are a good example of this. They help you track invoices and expenses so that you can focus on more important tasks.
DJ: What does the future workplace look like as compared to today's?
Weiser: It won’t be so different from today’s workplace. Nowadays, we tend to have a lot of open space offices, where employees are in constant and direct exchange with each other. Imagine the same thing in the future, but digital. No matter where we are in the world, we can communicate with each other, share each other’s screens and work on documents together. Cloud computing and remote desktop tools allow us to work from anywhere, anytime. We will trade in the 9-to-5 office day for a more flexible, more balanced lifestyle.
It’ll be different from company to company, because each entity can adapt their way of working to their (and the employees’) specific needs.
DJ: What are some of the biggest pain points that remote workers experience that can be alleviated with the help of a tool?
Weiser:The hardest part of working remotely is being responsible for yourself: Maintaining a routine while keeping your private and work life separate. Being able to work in bed is a nice idea, but then when you turn off your PC and go to bed, you’re technically still at work. It can mess with your head. You are more flexible, but you should still be self-disciplined, structured, and plan your working hours well, ideally at a desk that you only use for work.
DJ: What are some examples?
Weiser:Some easy to use smartphone apps for time management should suffice. Make sure you find tools that help you gain more structure in your home office and keep it clean. Some apps allow you to take notes, set up reminders and declutter your workplace. Again, these are just tools. It’s important to not rely on them too much.
DJ: What are some tools that employers can use to make sure their remote workers are being well-supported?
Weiser:As an employer, you should make sure that your remote workers still feel like they’re part of the company. Therefore, tools for video conferencing and collaborative work are most important. Isolation is a big issue with remote work, so it’s important to minimize it by checking in on and communicating with your employees regularly via phone calls or video conferences and still allow your employees to work together.
DJ: With 5G taking the forefront in a lot of conversations, how will that affect someone who works on a remote desktop?
Weiser:The prospect of 5G is very promising, opening up a lot of opportunities for remote desktop from mobiles because of the ability to manage multiple devices and a high amount of data. Former struggles like network limitations and connectivity problems won’t be an issue anymore, especially for mobile use cases.
The advantages 5G offers – high-speed, latency, free connections, and being able to transfer a massive amount of data – is exactly what remote desktop needs in order to become more readily available. Thanks to 5G, connectivity will be heightened, because we are just as reachable on our mobile devices as we are at our office PC.
DJ: What is the first step in deciding what productivity tool(s) will work best?
Weiser:It doesn’t matter what the latest trend is, you have to feel comfortable with your tool to actually keep using it. You should always plan on using it over the long-term. Watch for a tool that really suits you. It should be a product you actually need and not a useless addition to your tool kit. Make sure to pick simple tools so you don’t lose the time you wanted to save by trying to figure out the tool and all its features. Less is more. This also accounts for the number of tools. Make sure you only have one for each task, otherwise it can get confusing.
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