The 2014 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll found businesses that use mobile apps for daily tasks saved a total of $65 billion last year. Moreover, 77 percent of respondent businesses said they rely heavily on three or more mobile apps for daily company functions.
There are mobile apps that can streamline just about any job in an office, but these three in particular will make your work day more efficient and your business more profitable.
The number of American workers who telecommute increased nearly 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, according to Global Workplace Analytics. There were about 25 million people who worked from home at least one day per week and 3.1 million full-time telecommuters in 2012.
HipChat is the perfect app to create a virtual office setting despite the team being scattered all across the country. It allows for real-time screen sharing of documents, video chat between individuals or teams and even guest access for third-party vendors and clients. All communications are transmitted via 256-bit SSL encryption for maximum security and peace-of-mind.
HipChat’s best feature is its versatility. Employees can have an Android phablet, an iOS tablet or a Linux-based PC, and the app will work seamlessly across the varying platforms and devices, saving you both time and money on hardware upgrades. HipChat is free to try for 30 days, and costs only $2 per user if you decide to purchase the Plus plan.
A 2012 McKinsey Global Institute report found that the average office worker spends 28 percent of their total work week reading, writing, and responding to emails. The report suggests that email efficiency can be improved by up to 30 percent (and free up about 3 hours per week per employee) if the proper technology and platforms are incorporated at the office. That is where the Mailbox app comes into play.
This chat and to-do-list app started out as Orchestra, a start-up that received over $5 million in venture capital funding in 2011. It was subsequently named the App Store’s 2011 Productivity App Of The Year, but the programming team still felt there was more the app could do to streamline email processes. The company merged with Dropbox in March 2013 and created a simple and practical email management app.
Mailbox allows you to “snooze” low-priority emails and make them temporarily disappear from your inbox until a later time. It also creates three default lists for emails—To Read, To Buy and To Watch—and allows you to create your own lists as well. There’s also an auto-swipe function for faster navigation.
The one downside to Mailbox is that its only compatible with Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo and mac.com email addresses. The company, however, says it will be adding more email platforms soon.
Whether its sending out weekly email blasts or doing nightly audits, these repetitive duties are something that must be done for your business to function. But when one person is tasked with completing all of them, it bogs down the entire company. It’s especially a hindrance when that person leaves the company and nobody is certain how to complete those daily, vital tasks.
Sweet Process allows you to systematize processes and subsequently delegate tasks to others. Every employee can create a checklist for every task they complete so the next person can do it the exact same way.
This app also is great for expanding, small business owners, who are usually the only person that knows how to complete many daily functions. Sweet Process will free up time for other tasks, and add value to your company as a result of creating written Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
The best way to learn more about this invaluable app is to take advantage of the 14-day free trial.