A group of people collaborating as they look at a laptop in an office.

How To Make Your Technology More User-Friendly For Effective Workplace Collaboration

Focusing your IT strategy on usability is essential to ensure that your investments in tools and systems yield maximum benefits. Opt for intuitive, efficient, and effective solutions to ensure employee adoption.

On World Usability Day, celebrated on November 9, we emphasize the importance of crafting user-friendly and accessible solutions that cater to diverse abilities. This year, under the theme “Collaboration and Cooperation,” we reflect on how ease of use can be integrated into our daily workplace technology interactions.

In the following sections, we explore the advantages of collaboration-enhancing tools when prioritizing user-friendliness. We’ll discuss the significance of usability and inclusive design and why they should matter to you. Additionally, we’ll provide actionable insights to incorporate user-friendliness into every facet of your business’s IT strategy.


The benefits of effective collaboration technology in the workplace

Digital collaboration tools help create cohesive work environments and break down barriers to increased productivity. Employees are 34% happier with their workplace culture when they can use collaboration tools in an innovation-forward professional climate, compared to employees in companies that discourage innovation and don’t support collaboration effectively. Moreover, large businesses that foster employee engagement increase their operating income by 19%.

How does employee engagement increase productivity and revenue? 

The Microsoft 365 ecosystem is a perfect example of effective digital collaboration. With tools like Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Project, businesses can access well-designed environments that streamline communication. Projects are completed more efficiently when you integrate various applications and seamlessly access data from multiple places. Companies can also access analytics as concrete evidence when adjusting to improve performance.

These benefits help businesses eliminate unnecessary time and resources spent on mundane bureaucratic tasks. Employees can accomplish tangible outcomes faster – particularly with companies like Microsoft working hard to improve their application’s performance speed. Did you know that they designed the new Microsoft Teams to have a 50% reduction in memory consumption and a 70% decrease in disk space? (Among other upcoming usability-focused features like consolidating tenants or its AI-powered assistant, Copilot!) 


The importance of usability in our business technology

The effectiveness of new technologies in business is contingent on their successful integration into employees’ daily routines. However, when these technologies fall short, presenting complex interfaces and continuous technical problems, employees may sidestep company tech in favor of personal tools they find more reliable. This practice, known as shadow IT, poses a significant risk to an organization’s cybersecurity.

However, focusing on usability and considering the human aspects of our workforce equips employees with user-friendly tools that protect data and bolster productivity, effectively countering the risks associated with shadow IT.

Too often, we prioritize form over function. 

Let’s take the rise of virtual reality, for example. 

Tech leaders have promoted virtual reality (VR) as a transformative tool for corporate operations. However, research suggests that using current VR technology for a full week can raise frustration levels by 45% and give employees the impression that their workload has increased by 35%.

In contrast, when employees are provided with user-friendly technology that meets their needs, they avoid the extra strain of adapting to a rigid system, which can lead to improved morale and productivity.

Moreover, usability in technology streamlines business processes, leading to cost savings and increased profits. When teams have access to intuitive and straightforward tools, they spend less time on tasks and can channel their efforts into more value-added activities.


The curb cut effect and universal design

Usability in the workplace must include accessibility, ensuring technology caters to diverse bodies and abilities. This inclusivity allows all users to effectively access necessary information, regardless of visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments. Moreover, features like screen readers and voice-to-text aren’t only beneficial for those with disabilities; they enhance the user experience for all, reflecting the “Curb Cut Effect,” where designs for accessibility end up benefiting everyone. Prioritizing inclusive design in workplace technology meets legal and ethical standards and boosts employee efficiency and engagement.


Practical strategies to make your business’s technology more usable

So, how can we ensure our business’s technology is cutting-edge and user-friendly for our teams? Companies can use many strategies at the intersection of innovation and usability. This way, we can harness our digital tools and systems to their full potential, maximizing the value of our investments.

Implement user-centric design

Building a usable IT infrastructure means aligning your tools with users’ preferences and behaviours. For example, in a world shifting towards more mobile and remote work, a usable technology would allow them to work from anywhere. Microsoft Teams Phone is one example of a tool that empowers employees to work flexibly and in real time, regardless of location. 

Adopting a user-centric design approach includes selecting technology that allows for customization. This way, your team can tailor their experience to meet their unique needs, incorporating essential features and discarding the redundant ones. For instance, Teams Premium allows corporations to customize meeting templates, themes, and backgrounds. Not only does this offer visual cohesion and cement their brand identity, but it also helps boost usability! 

Businesses can eliminate distractions and ensure a smooth collaborative experience by consistently enforcing engagement rules around recording, muting, and sensitivity labels.  

Prioritize user support and empowerment

Making our technology usable requires involving the people who will use it at every step. We invite users to provide feedback on our business tools regularly and then use that information to identify improvement areas and refine our technology. 

We must also support users in navigating our workplace technology and IT infrastructure. This support would include:

  • Creating clear and comprehensive documentation to educate on best practices and appropriate use (Read our article on developing AI guidelines for an example of a specific use case!)
  • Building a user-centered information architecture that ensures we organize data in intuitive ways
  • Offering regular training and onboarding 
  • Regularly updating and maintaining our technology to proactively prevent frustrating tech issues (Among other benefits, regular security patches can boost productivity by optimizing our software and hardware!)

Take a strategic approach to usability

Usability in technology also requires an organizational approach that sees our tools as pieces of an overall puzzle. We need to procure tools that fit with our business goals. For example, scalability within our digital infrastructure ensures its long-term usability. By emphasizing integration and consistency across our toolset, we can guarantee that our systems don’t just serve one project or department but benefit the organization comprehensively.

Focusing on cybersecurity and data privacy is crucial for making our technology more usable. When you develop a strong data protection plan, your tools will remain reliable, stable, and available.


Unleash Productivity with PC Corp’s IT Expertise

Innovative technologies alone won’t enhance productivity and collaboration; it’s about how effortlessly your team can make the most of these tools. But when your company commits to user-centric design, providing support, and building usability in all business areas, your technology will positively transform how your employees work and communicate.

When you partner with PC Corp to address your IT needs, our experts will work with you to create the ultimate user experience. 

We will demystify your technology in jargon-free language, involving your entire team in building a barrier-free tech environment. Our IT procurement specialists will find you user-friendly hardware and software solutions, while our IT project consultants will make sure every tool fits within the bigger picture. With our managed IT services, we’ll keep your IT infrastructure performing smoothly so your employees avoid any bottlenecks to productivity.

Contact us today to discuss how we can revamp your IT setup for better employee engagement and satisfaction. 

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