Technology and the 40-Hour Work Week

May 1, 2013

1:00 pm

Throughout the years, technology has created ways for people to be more productive. For startups thinking about hiring more employees, it’s important to consider this question: Is a 40-hour work week justified for your startup? With today’s technological advancements, startups can ultimately increase their productivity and decrease the number of hours worked each week.

As the owner of your startup, it’s easy for you to work around the clock to finish a project. However, if you expect this from your employees, they may have a hard time staying focused if they crave work-life balance. By taking advantage of the latest productivity applications and getting the most out of the technology you use, your startup employees won’t have to work 24/7.

If you’re looking for ways technology can help you improve the productivity of yourself and your employees, here are some helpful ideas to get you focused.

Prioritize your schedule. To be more productive during your work week, it’s important for you to prioritize your tasks. When using a task manager like Wedoist, you can assign tasks to your employees and create deadlines to organize your priorities. This will help your employees stay on top of projects and remember deadlines.

Track productivity. If you want to know how you can make the most of your time, use a platform like Rescue Time to track productivity. When using Rescue Time, you and your employees can track how time is spent on the Internet and set goals to make work more productive when using the web. By tracking productivity, you can figure out when to focus more and which work habits need improvement.

Speed up communication. Instead of using email for continuous conversation, consider using Skype. Sometimes, email can become a very slow tool for communication; with Skype, communication can be instantaneous. Because of it’s chat capabilities and live phone calls, you can communicate with your employees immediately, and you don’t have to wait for them to check their email. Plus, the great thing about Skype is that it allows you to display your availability, so your employees will know when they can contact you and vice versa.

Set aside time in your day for email. As the owner of a startup, it’s important to dedicate a specific time in your day to focus on responding to emails. Instead of logging on first thing in the morning, wait a few hours to open your mailbox. The few minutes you spend in the morning to check your email has the potential to create a distraction for the entire day. When you start work, begin a project and once it’s complete, move on to your email. This way, you won’t be tempted to interrupt your productivity by checking your email periodically.

It’s important for your startup to promote productivity with the use of technology. Many startups don’t realize how much time is wasted by constantly checking emails or by using the Internet as a distraction. By prioritizing your schedule and creating effective communication using technology, you will be able to shave minutes – or even hours – off of your work day for yourself and your employees.

What ways have you used technology to improve productivity at your startup?

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Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Find Heather on Google+.

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