If you spent more time hanging around the water cooler with your colleagues instead of sitting with your face in a mobile device, you’d probably hear more often about all the great new apps available to improve your life at work. Work apps won’t just make your employer glad you’re using them, they could make you, er, appier. In fact, mobile app development companies have been rolling out apps for all manner of work-related functions. It has become common for companies to steer, or even require, employees to use third-party mobile apps for training and other work-related purposes. If an off the shelf solution does not work, businesses can build a custom, proprietary app to meet their needs. Companies in New York City, for instance, are reaching out to local mobile app development agencies like Worry Free Labs to design iOS and Android apps that can be used to access company schedules, internal documents, and even benefits packages. Besides the HR uses for apps, businesses are increasingly relying on mobile salesforce automation to make front-of-house operations more flexible, to improve inventory management, and, ultimately, to strengthen the bottom line. Here’s a look at a few existing apps (mobile and web) that are helping workers and workplaces be more productive. Harvest is a great productivity app developed by a New York company. Its most robust via the web but also has an iPhone and Android app that complement the web experience. It’s used for time tracking on projects, project estimation, invoicing and reporting. The app offers users real-time time-tracking transparency. Project managers and managers can better manage projects by seeing a summary or drill down on how employees are spending their time instead of micromanaging time sheets or asking employees to account for their hours earlier in the week or day. The app also offers a robust api in case you want to integrate it seamlessly with other applications used to manage your company's business. Worry Free Labs uses this app on a daily basis and it has helped us manage our business and make it more efficient. Eko Communications, a startup founded in Bangkok and New York by 19-year-old Columbia University student Korawad Chearavanont, raised $1 million in seed funding to develop mobile workplace communication tools “to boost enterprise productivity and security.” Eko’s idea: Workplaces today are relying on tools built for social communication, not for work; enterprise mobile tools would be far more effective. [caption id="attachment_575" align="aligncenter" width="489"] Eko Communications offers an enterprise social messaging app[/caption] The app Work+ is designed to help the self-starter find a suitable work location away from the temptations and distractions of the home office. With search options for keywords like “wifi” and input parameters for how many people are in a work group, Work+ gives its users geographically proximate options and tracks their hours. [caption id="attachment_577" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Work+ is for people who work at home, but don't want to[/caption] Whether you’re looking to adopt an off-the-shelf app to increase your business productivity, or are thinking about tapping an app development company to customize one for your team, watching the trends in workplace apps like these can give you some great ideas.