The following post comes to us from Keith Coppersmith, an experienced business consultant who serves small businesses and startups. Learn more about Keith in his bio following this article.
If you’ve ever uttered the words “Hey Google, can you set my timer for ten minutes?” you’ve already had the benefit of experiencing some level of automation in your own private life. This might be a minor example, but Google Assistant also has a handy “routine” feature that helps you plan ahead some of your typical steps of the day, such as checking the weather forecast, making coffee (if you can connect your phone to your coffee maker, all the better), and immediately playing your favorite music.
Now, on a much grander, purpose-driven scale, the same time-saving steps and changes can be introduced in your office. Ever since the pandemic started, more companies have embraced a range of automation tools in order to help their employees, improve productivity, and enable higher retention rates.
Workplace automation is far from a new concept, but many brands are still uncertain as to what they can expect or if it will only turn out to be a way to hemorrhage money instead of becoming more profitable and productive. To show you just how powerful workplace automation can be, check out the following benefits of this process that can help your business flourish in 2021.
Reducing human error
A major benefit of automation for companies of all shapes and sizes is the simple ability to reduce employee mistakes. No matter how unintentional or seemingly benign they might be, these errors can slowly accumulate to become a drain on your budget, a missed deadline that can cost you a client, and general employee dissatisfaction for having to manage the consequences of those errors.
Although mistakes do happen and businesses can and should learn from them, automating a range of tasks with simple tools such as project management software can help with task assigning, milestone management, and client communication. Not to mention reducing human error in financial statements, taxation, and forecasting.
Fair workload allocation and transparency
Managing a handful of employees is not the same as having an entire organization with several different teams to run. Instead of treating your workdays as one massive chunk of time at your employees’ disposal, find the best rostering software that will help you automate scheduling, create customized templates, and micro-schedule smaller, shorter assignments.
With no more scheduling errors to worry about or double-booked conference rooms to keep your staff agitated and your clients less than impressed, your automated rostering can help increase productivity and employee satisfaction for the long haul.
Increased employee productivity
An unproductive workforce can cost your business for the long haul without you ever noticing what’s wrong. When your employees drag out their tasks and fail to perform their assignments in time, when they don’t collaborate and communicate, they are likely going to fall behind very quickly.
With automated non-essential tasks that take hours of your employees’ time and ample energy, your teams will have the necessary foundation for elevating their productivity. With more time on their hands and less to worry about on their plate, employees are more likely to be engaged, as well, which in turn means better productivity, too.
As we’ve mentioned how automation with certain tools helps elevate transparency and gives your entire workforce a clear view of the workload ahead and everyone’s responsibilities, accountability will also inevitably improve. Accountable, responsible employees are far more likely to be more productive, avoid workplace distractions, and collaborate better.
Simple automated features within your software, such as milestone and deadline alerts within your project management tool can help your employees organize their workday more efficiently. They’ll be more likely to deliver work in time, provide help to teammates when necessary, and ask for help themselves if they need it to get their job done in time.
More time for core processes
Automation is an excellent process in and of itself, but as a result, it brings other perks to light from the perspective of your teams. Once you allow different tools to handle all kinds of labor-intensive, time-consuming assignments, your employees will have more time and more brainpower to focus on creative tasks that can take your business to the next level. For instance, if you begin using automated accounting and invoicing software, your financial experts can focus on financial forecasting and reducing business-wide expenses.
Ideally, automation serves not the processes, but the people. With a better-structured workplace, your employees can actually enjoy their core tasks and thus produce better results. Over time, that alone is enough to help your business thrive in 2021.
Like with most solutions, automation in any aspect of your business isn’t a silver bullet to solve all of your operational issues. The benefits of this process are manifold, but they heavily depend on how you implement them in the first place. Make sure to introduce automation in 2021 into your workplace to help your employees advance and reduce their stress, so that their work-life balance can be stronger than ever, and their collaboration more structured and productive.
About the Author: Keith Coppersmith is an Adelaide based business consultant with a degree in Media Management. With experience in numerous small businesses and startups, he enjoys giving advice on all things marketing.