Automating your business practices took on new urgency in 2020 with so many employees forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, even before the pandemic began, many companies had started accepting remote work as the future of the workplace. While some may disagree about the method being efficient, there’s no doubt that the overall trend has been on the rise.
The reason is simple. Allowing employees to work from home has several advantages for both individuals and employers. Employers can save money by reducing office space and covering more time zones. Employees can save money and time by reducing commute costs and stress, They can also apply for positions outside of their geographic area and improve work/life balance.
That being said, remote working can quickly turn into an employer’s worst nightmare if proper measures are not adopted. If your staff has never worked remotely before, the transition period may be difficult. Even when you’re not dealing with a pandemic, running a remote workplace can be challenging and time-consuming.
It’s one thing to adopt remote working in your workplace. It’s something else entirely to put the practice to good use for your team. One of the most efficient methods to work remotely is to automate tasks so that you can handle the daily turmoil, keep in touch with your team, and save time rather than waste hours on manual labor.
How Automating Your Business Procedures Enhances the Work from Home Experience
The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing almost every industry to permit working from home. It really doesn’t matter if we believe in the concept or not. The workplace is going to change and you need to be prepared.
This is where automation comes in handy. Listed below are some of the common problems you might face if your staff works from home more frequently and how automation can help.
One of the biggest challenges for any business when it comes to working from home is productivity. As employees aren’t physically present in the workplace, it becomes difficult to monitor their productivity, what they’re working on, and when.
According to a study published by Stanford, team members who work remotely tend to be 13% more productive compared to employees working in an office setting. This is mainly due to fewer distractions. However, not everyone has the self-discipline that is crucial for remote working. By automating mundane tasks, employees can reduce distractions that might cause them to deviate from their work.
For example, emerging technologies such as Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are making remote work more productive. These technologies act as a virtual assistant alongside the remote working employee. They can sense when the employee may require assistance with a rule-based, repetitive task.
Transitioning from an office job to remote work can cause anxiety over job security. It can be challenging to keep the daily tasks running while everything in your environment is changing rapidly. This often results in making the entire work from home experience more difficult for employees and can yield chaotic results.
When you automate mundane or repetitive tasks, you can ensure that these tasks keep running smoothly, regardless of whether you’re in the office or not.
Ensuring Every Department Functions Smoothly When Automating your Business
When you move to remote work, you’re sure to face challenges specific to certain departments.
But that’s what makes automating your business the perfect solution. You can tailor technology to match your requirements, ensuring it can help any team you need. Here are a few examples based on some of the most prominent teams.
Marketing, Finance, and HR
When your marketing team performs their daily work-related activities from home, the biggest concern is likely to be the impact on current and future campaigns. However, campaigns, lifecycle communications, and triggered emails can all flow out automatically with automation.
Simultaneously, this holds for other teams as well. For example, accounts payable automation helps send out billing alerts, payment confirmations, and other communications without hassles. Essentially, when your team goes into the work-from-home mode, your processes shouldn’t suffer as long as they’re automated.
Automating customer service activities can pose the biggest challenge as there tends to be a lot of ambiguity and moving parts involved. Keeping track of various customer tickets and which team member is looking after that issue can be difficult.
However, automation doesn’t fail to deliver here. Automation technology can decode tickets and prioritize them based on specific terminologies, which can then be routed to the right team member.
IT teams face a challenge when it comes to working from home and preserving security. It’s obviously much easier to retain strict control of internet security in an office setting. There are fewer ways to control security settings when your staff works from home.
However, your IT employees can ensure that adequate security measures are put into place via automation. One example would be automating an email system to ensure that any document that is sent is first converted to PDF.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Automation Tools
Now that you have a better understanding of how automation can help improve your teams’ performance when it comes to working from home, it’s crucial to choose the right automation tools that allow you to implement the best practices for working from home.
When Automating Your Business, Keep It Affordable
One essential criterion that influences any tool’s usefulness is its price. Top-notch work-from-home tools are available at reasonable prices. The trick is to not jump at the first solution and conduct your due diligence or put your needs out for bid.
Make Sure Your Solutions Are Effective
Another feature that all of the top work-from-home automation tools have in common is their capacity to perform their function efficiently. It may be highly frustrating for users to use tools that aren’t up to the task at hand. Make sure the solution you invest in won’t max out on capacity anytime soon.
Are the New Tools Accessible?
The only way to ensure employees can work remotely is to enable their access to necessary tools and documents from anywhere.
Any decent automation tool will ensure that you don’t need to go to an extraordinary effort to install and maintain. It will also ensure that employees can access whatever they need at any time. Additionally, remote workers may utilize these products on the go by downloading mobile applications.
Keep It Simple
Quality work-from-home programs feature user interfaces that are simple to use. A tool with a clear and easy-to-understand UI design makes it easier for people to utilize. Confusion when trying to demo a new product should serve as a red flag.
Automating Your Business Procedures Makes Financial Sense, Regardless of Work Location
For many, transitioning to remote working or working from home may be difficult. The change will require a bit of planning and good automation tools. However, your employees are sure to get right back into the swing of things if you help automate mundane tasks.