by Katy Beloof
Automation in the enterprise is transforming how people work. Yet rather than taking jobs away from workers, automation has the power to complement their work and help them be even more effective.
Respondents in Smartsheet’s Automation in the Workplace report estimate that the time savings from automation can add up to six or more hours a week – nearly a full work day for most employees. Automation contributes to a decrease in data entry and processing errors that can erode the reliability of data, and reduce the time spent on manual tasks, freeing up workers for more meaningful, high-value tasks.
The softer benefits of this extra time – including the improved employee satisfaction that comes from replacing repetitive, mundane tasks with more interesting challenges and the added business value and innovation this new work can drive – might be even more remarkable.
by Staff Writer on May 10, 2018
Meetings cost businesses a lot of money.
$15 million per year, in one case. That’s what researchers at Bain & Company determined a weekly executive meeting cost one business each year. More broadly, the research found that many companies spend 15 percent of their collective time in meetings.
by Stephen Danos on May 4, 2018
Email has certainly changed how people communicate all over the world. However, it's a notorious productivity killer. Excessive email is not only a time suck; it can result in lost or outdated information, crossed wires, and duplicative effort.
All teams in an organization need a centralized place to collect their ideas, whether those thoughts focus on a process improvement or campaign strategies. We’ve all been copied on unproductive email threads where good ideas aren’t surfaced — you end up wasting quality time digging deeper.
Moving your team away from email doesn’t mean you can’t capture and share exciting ideas, no matter where you are when inspiration strikes. With Smartsheet, you can explore at least three alternate ways to collaborate with your team without making them feel chained to their inboxes.
by Brendan Reed on April 24, 2018
Instead of scrolling through rows of data to glean insights, one well-crafted visual can make it easier to understand what’s going on, and help you make decisions more quickly. Charts can highlight outliers, trends, and other details you need to see to make the best choice for your business.
Our most recent additions to Smartsheet dashboards will help you supercharge your data visualization and give you more flexibility in your data sources, so you can get the information you need to make better-informed decisions more quickly. With our charts enhancements, you now have ten new chart variations at your fingertips for more ways to visualize your data in a dashboard.
You also have the ability to create charts from reports. Add multiple data sources to one report, then create a chart from that report to bring multiple sources into one visual for a more complete picture.
Not only that, but we’ve given you more flexibility on your sheet data structures for charts. Now you can select the specific columns you want to include in a chart, without needing to rearrange your sheet data to include what you want into your chart. Here’s how each of these enhancements work for you and your team to better visualize data:
by Brendan Reed on April 19, 2018
Are you wasting time looking for information? A recent infographic shows that information workers spend 36% of their day looking for and consolidating information, and 44% of the time they still can’t find the information they need.
Often, team information is provided manually via email or download, which in turn presents a new set of problems. Constant emailing and chats, the inability to control document versions, and more add up to a painful and ineffective experience.
Centralized information and data sources are essential for managing and sharing team documents and data simply and effectively, but existing web-based platforms and company intranets have their limitations.
For example, they typically need IT support to set up, which creates a lag time for business users. They can also be difficult to update, so information quickly becomes outdated as business users wait for IT to make changes.
by Stephen Branstetter on February 21, 2018
Earlier this month, we revealed Smartsheet dashboards, an unprecedented bird's-eye view into your business's work in Smartsheet. With dashboards, you have a customizable, powerful tool that arms you with real-time data and information for making the best decisions. Let’s look at some best practices for getting started with dashboards so you can improve your work right away.
Preparing Your Information for Dashboards
Before you start building a dashboard, there are three factors you must determine.
by Stephen Danos on April 5, 2018
In the past, we’ve looked at how automation improves employee engagement and surveyed information workers for our 2017 Automation Report. The report showed that there are three key processes — data collection, approvals, and updates — that, when automated, give people more time to focus on high-value work.
But automation doesn’t just free up time for workers. It can also improve visibility and create accountability across an organization. By giving teams access to the same information across the board — a single source of truth to work from — they can more quickly move forward on projects.
While communication tools such as email, instant messaging applications, and team collaboration software have their uses, information often gets lost in the shuffle. Sifting through messages and status updates across multiple platforms is not only a tedious process, but it creates knowledge gaps.
Teams can’t quickly and effectively communicate changes to projects or processes when information is siloed. There’s no single source of truth, making it difficult to move work forward. Using a work management platform that automates time-consuming, manual tasks makes a noticeable difference.
For example, instead of wasting time racing around the office gathering metric reports from stakeholders or sending status update emails, workers can set up automated update requests to gather the information they need to get projects done. Then, that information is consolidated in one place for anyone on the project to reference.
Businesses are continually asking information workers to do more with less in order to maintain a competitive edge. In his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport argues that the ability to focus without distraction is becoming an increasingly valuable skill for workers, as it helps them produce improved results in a shorter amount time.
According to Newport, deep work is “the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time.” Yet with the prevalence of distractions in today’s workplace, focused work can be a difficult skill to cultivate.
How much time does your team actually save when you use technology to get your work done on a daily basis? The benefits of technology aren’t hard to characterize, but quantifying time savings can be, especially with emerging technology like work management platforms.
Smartsheet commissioned a study conducted by Forrester Consulting1 this past summer to quantify the total economic impact for enterprise customers, and the findings are significant: As shown by a composite organization, Smartsheet helps business leaders improve their productivity by 15% – saving over 300 hours each year.
Writers and Bloggers from Smartsheet.