3 Workplace Tools that can Improve Your Work-Life Balance
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
That famous quote, uttered in the 1986 classic John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, is truer today than it was in the ‘80s. Back then, there was no internet, no social media, and the 24-hour news cycle was in its infancy.
Today, life is a frenzy of information and messages. This flood of incoming data has been democratized through the internet, so that it is up to each of us as individuals to sift through massive amounts of information to find the things that are truly important in work and in life.
Clearly, prioritizing information related to your career ranks near the top. Why, then, are so many financial institutions stuck in 1986? Anyone? Anyone?
“Half of the world’s data, in the history of humankind, was created in less than the last year.” - Bill Wiseman, McKinsey Analytics
Back in the day, the three-martini lunch, “a leisurely, indulgent lunch enjoyed by businesspeople or lawyers … refers to a common belief that people in such professions have enough leisure time to consume more than one martini during a work day,” reports Wikipedia.
Enough leisure time? At the current pace of business, the three-martini lunch has gone the way of the fax machine. With good reason: information overload is a real issue.
With this cyclone of information, the question remains: how do we first navigate it, and second, how do we focus on the things that are truly important? One method is to find and work with a finance provider that offers technological conveniences in line with the current century.
Life-hack /lif-hak/ noun, informal –
a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.
Workplace Life Hack #1 – Virtual Meetings
Workplace “life hacks” such as virtual meetings are an excellent way to start to taking control of your schedule. While (obviously) doing business on the golf course is fun and enjoyable, the truth is that you do not always have time for a six-hour sales call.
Even face-to-face visits, while generally important and even crucial in some instances, take a lot of time out of your day. Phone calls are a good way to make a connection also, but lack benefit of body language and eye contact that is so important in building trust in business relationships.
Enter the virtual meeting. Thanks to Skype, WebEx, Adobe, Facetime and other readily-available technologies, virtual meetings allow you all the benefits of a “face-to-face” interaction, without the time drain.
Simply log in, right from your desk, have the meeting, and move on. First American colleagues held more than 5,000 virtual meetings with clients and prospects last year, saving everyone’s time – while also getting business done. And First American grew 70% last year, indicating that businesspeople prefer this type of technology-enhanced convenience.
Workplace Life Hack #2 – There’s an App for That
According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), seven out of ten businesses lease equipment, meaning that more than $1 trillion of equipment is financed every year in the U.S. That is a lot of equipment to manage. And for complex organizations, with a variety of equipment on different lease schedules, staying on top of your financed equipment can be an onerous duty.
That is where equipment management apps, like CustomerConnect™ from First American come into play.
“Leasing equipment has been a lot simpler, with a lot less headaches, (with) CustomerConnect as our asset management tool,” said Dan Umbower, IT Manager at the manufacturing company Nishikawa Cooper. “There’s no work on your side to get it running for you. It’s already there, it’s mobile, and it’s a great, great tool that you can use to start tracking and managing your assets.”
Learn more about how Nishikawa Cooper Tracks and Manages Assets: http://manufacturingfinance.com/Stories/Nishikawa
First American’s CustomerConnect app features flexible tracking and reporting tools, including the ability to track assets by cost center, department or user; highly tailored reports for planning, budgeting and auditing, and customizable data fields so that each client can see the information that is most important for their needs. It’s available as a free app or online via First American’s website.
Workplace Life Hack #3 – e-Signatures
In your personal life, do you still go to the bank? If you are like most people, you do so as infrequently as possible, focusing instead on direct deposits, automatic payments, and online banking. Still, to open an account, you generally have go to the bank in person, during business hours and sign papers with a pen.
Most business-to-business equipment financing transactions are the same. It is incongruent that you can e-sign at McDonald’s – or while standing in the dirt at a Renaissance Fair – but you must still send overnight documents that have been signed with a ballpoint pen. Even more puzzling is that electronic documents are widely used in auto loans and mortgages. In the age of FinTech and Block Chain, you should be able to e-sign your documents – even from the golf course – on your mobile device.
E-signatures are valid, enforceable, and in many cases safer than paper. Insist on working with an equipment financing provider that respects your time enough to offer you a widely-accepted e-signature option like DocuSign.
That’s it, It’s Over
These 3 workplace life hacks have been designed to remove some of the drudgery from your day so you can focus on the high value activities at work and at home.