We tend to use technology for fun in our personal lives. We can spend hours discovering and playing with new apps, buying new gadgets or integrating the latest tech into our daily routines.

In business, however, one technological factor is paramount: efficiency. If your professional tech use doesn’t drive measurable results, it’s probably a waste of money.

You need to know how to get the best out of your technology in several key areas. Here are three of the most critical tech solutions that continue to have a daily, resounding impact on business efficiency. 

1. Payroll

Payroll is a vital element of any company’s operations. Businesses ranging from Fortune 100 giants to small dog-walking services all need to pay their employees correctly, and on time. 

As many entrepreneurs have learned, paying employees can be highly complex. This is especially true in our increasingly remote working world, where many businesses have employees scattered all over. According to integrated payroll and HR provider OnPay, 21 percent of companies who did not offer a remote work option before Covid-19 plan to allow at least some employees to work virtually once the pandemic is over—double the pre-pandemic number.

This shift means employers will have additional payroll stressors to manage. State, national, and even international tax codes and employment laws may come into play, depending on where your employees live. You need to ensure you have payroll software, or even a third-party partner, to pay employees legally and correctly.


2. Cloud Collaboration

No matter what your company’s policy was on remote work, you and your team might need to rethink it. A vast majority of employees want more remote work going forward, and businesses need to adapt. 

Not every employee or company needs to work virtually full-time. There are many industries or situations where a fully remote office simply isn’t feasible. Nevertheless, 97 percent of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time, and companies need to acknowledge that employee stance.

If your business is one of many that will stay at least partially remote, it’s essential to help your remote teams collaborate via the cloud. Cloud-based workflow platforms such as Trello, Asana, and ClickUp remain powerful collaboration tools. Additionally, applications such as Evernote, and even something as basic as Google Docs, can lend a helping hand.

These tools can keep your team connected, without needing to learn new technology at every turn. Efficiency is assured with these readymade tech solutions.

3. Codified Communication

Several generations of business technology have sought to make communication more efficient. From beepers and corded phones, to smartwatches and Google Glass, professionals are always ready to dive into the world of communication gadgets.

There’s an abundance of tech solutions for this, including Zoom, Slack, GoToMeeting and Microsoft Teams. Just don’t use Skype, as Microsoft is phasing it out July of 2021—consider this your 90-day warning.

It really doesn’t matter what tools your employees use, as long as you are consistent. Choose the tech solutions that serve your team’s needs the best, then codify them into your communication processes. You might use email for memos, Trello for project-related questions and Zoom for all meetings. Also, remember to prioritize simplicity and ease of use; you want to cut down on the time and resources spent training new employees to utilize your communications systems.

There are always new tech solutions that you can implement in your company. But the 80/20 rule tells us that more effort and tools don’t necessarily drive better results. Be careful to avoid implementing tech tools your employees don’t need, or even don’t particularly like to use. Remember, efficiency is the golden rule.

Robert is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners. Join 200,000+ global leaders who follow his inspirational weekly newsletter Friday Forward or invite him to speak. Robert is also a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. His new book, How To Thrive In The Virtual Workplaceis now available for preorder.