Life seems to be getting busier year after year, especially in the workplace. Just as well there are measures, we can take to increase productivity and create efficiencies not only in our workplace but in our personal life as well.
Automation within organisations is a common occurrence these days due to the importance placed on streamlining processes and increasing productivity. And with technology changing at such a rapid rate, it’s empowering businesses to implement changes along the way.
While most jobs can benefit from a degree of automation, ‘automation’ doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be a scary word. When used effectively in the workplace and in your day-to-day life, it can free up time for the critical tasks, allowing you to do what you do best; foster creativity, think strategically and build relationships.
Advantages and challenges to be aware of
We all have those tasks that bog us down, they are often repetitive and prevent us from undertaking the more important aspects of our roles. Automating these mundane tasks can provide many advantages including;
- Reducing busywork, freeing up resources to focus efforts on more important tasks that require critical thinking.
- Increasing knowledge sharing within and between teams, with improved reporting and processes.
- Minimising duplication of data and the possibility of data entry errors.
Introducing change comes with its own set of challenges, even if automating processes leads to improved satisfaction and productivity. Some key considerations when implementing new technology and automation include;
- The initial costs of new products or services, team training and the time for the team to take up the new process.
- Data security issues with the increased reliance on technology.
- Be mindful not to introduce unnecessary complexity. Automation for the sake of automation will not always create efficiencies.
- Developing indicators to measure the success of the new process.
Where can you start making changes today?
Automation should ultimately make your working environment simpler and it’s one of the best tools we have at our disposal for efficiency. A few areas where you can begin making changes include;
- Sales and client onboarding: Client relationships are built over time, and often require a personalised touch. However, there are simple ways to reduce the administration of finding, converting and onboarding new clients. This may include integration between your emails and CRM for better client profiles, appointment setting tools and a sales workflow with automated emails to prospects to maintain regular touchpoints.
- Data entry across various areas of the business: No one likes to get bogged down entering, or worse re-entering data. Investigate integrations between your accounting software and CRM (and any other platforms) so data only needs to be entered once. This will both reduce time and the possibility for errors.
- Invoicing and accounts: Online accounting software enables businesses to manage accounts and payroll effectivity – but are you making the most of the tools available to you? Do team members enter timesheets directly into the accounting software, eliminating data entry? Also consider issuing repeat invoices and invoice reminders to assist with prompt payment.
- Marketing: There has been an explosion of tools to assist you in effectively marketing your business. Consider scheduling your social media with a free scheduling tool. Share content across the business to maximise your efforts. Collect and store new leads in your CRM or email platform so you can market to them in future.
Get on board with the change
There are many reasons why automating processes within an organisation is beneficial for productivity, but it can also have a positive effect on team morale and job satisfaction. By removing manual tasks and replacing them with an automated process, you could reduce stress levels and potentially have a beneficial impact on absenteeism within the workplace.
One key thing to remember is now that flexible working is a high priority for most people, whatever strategies you implement, they must have the ability to be accessed remotely.
By incrementally introducing a few new strategies across various areas of the business or your role, you’ll start reaping the rewards sooner than you think.