As per research shared by Voucher Cloud, an average employee is productive only for 2 hours and 53 minutes. This means, in a daily workday setup, most of the work hours are spent in non-productive activities.

There could be several factors impacting business productivity. Employees tend to multitask with many duties at hand and often fail to prioritize the critical ones. Moreover, distractions in the form of social media and frequent coffee breaks are hard to avoid. All these factors affect team productivity, slowing down the overall growth of an enterprise. 

According to a recent Hubspot study, lost productivity costs businesses almost 1.8 trillion dollars annually. That’s a lot, especially in the case of small businesses that thrive on profits. Hence, businesses must focus on boosting their productivity. 

Here are four tools for small business owners that will improve team performance and productivity.

Trello – Task Management Platform

As pointed out earlier, productivity often gets impacted because employees tend to multitask. When faced with multiple tasks (all being complex and critical!), it’s tough to prioritize. This can hurt employee efficiency. 

Trello is a great productivity tool for process-based projects and tasks. It allows users to add cards and members, set notifications and deadlines, and create colorful labels to convey work status with clarity. With its user-friendly interface, Trello facilitates smooth and easy collaboration among team members, regardless of the location.


The tool allows a convenient and visual way to gauge the progress of a project and team performance. It helps businesses focus on tasks, share documents and comments, and assign tasks to a group. Hence, each team member knows their priorities for the day. 

Trello, with its competitive pricing, comes in handy for startups and small-sized businesses. The free membership offers unlimited cards and lists but limits the number of team boards to ten. If you wish to upgrade with more power-ups, automation, and other features, you may choose a paid plan.

Small business owners with remote team members benefit from its mobile functionality. The Trello app can be downloaded and used by Android and iOS users. 

Slack – Communication and Collaboration Tool

Seamless team communication is a vital aspect of productivity. It positively impacts a team’s performance by improving employee morale and the overall productivity of a work environment. 

Slack serves as an essential tool for small-sized businesses as it offers an effective platform for team communication and collaboration. It offers an enriched conversation experience, allowing businesses to send large files and share articles or videos with the team. 

The app allows business owners to add selected members in a chat room. Users can create separate channels with specific team members to contribute to a project. Its clean user interface makes discussions and key company announcements effortless.


Slack can be used as a team communication tool for quick chats on projects. For urgent and critical projects where emails aren’t appropriate, Slack is a great alternative. Its smart design-interface serves as a great communicating medium for small and big businesses and startups.

Slack even houses social media integrations. The core service is free. But, paid plans provide unlimited third-party app-integrations, group video calls for 15 team members, and other exciting features. 

RescueTime – Focus and Time Management Tool

An effective time management strategy allows team members to plan their day well and prioritize tasks, thereby providing them ample scope to meet deadlines. This improves the quality of work by avoiding distractions, allowing employees to focus on what matters most.

In the modern era, where distractions are in abundance and time is less, RescueTime acts as an ideal time management tool for small businesses. This tool helps the user keep a track of time and organize tasks. It even allows the team to set goals and alerts, thereby encouraging productive employee behavior.


This productivity app securely runs in the device’s background, tracking the time spent on online activities like internet browsing, checking emails, or social media scrolling. A lot of time is wasted in such activities. The app helps compile all this data allowing you to block certain websites for a specific number of hours. Blocking them all together helps team members concentrate on the job at hand, thus boosting productivity.  

Grovo – Employee Training and Development Tool

Training and development programs can help strengthen skills and enrich the team’s knowledge. A well-trained team also gives businesses a competitive advantage. 

Grovo is a lifeline in this regard. With its Cornerstone’s content library, microlearning courses from Grovo can train project managers and other employees on multiple topics. The tool also trains teams on technical topics like email marketing with video integration, using customer relationship management software, mastering SEO for Squarespace websites, and much more. 

Use this tool to improve your team’s skills, thus empowering them to contribute to business success. 


Grovo imparts knowledge to employees for tackling tough challenges faced in complex projects. Invest in this tool to sharpen team skills and add value to your business.

Final Thoughts

Productivity is a key driver of long-term growth among SMEs. Startups and small business owners should adopt the latest technologies and methods employed by large enterprises to boost employee productivity. 

The tools mentioned above can be huge contributors to this cause. Furthermore, most of these tools are free to use, offer free trials before purchase, and come with a cost that will not burn a hole in your pocket. 

Do you know of any other tool that can positively impact business productivity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Author Bio

Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling.