Streamlining Business With Automation | The Future of Work on Automation (Part 5)

Automation does not necessarily mean repetitive, manual work. Sometimes, it means streamlining business processes so that there is less room for error. Let’s delve further into what automation means and why it is creating winners in the workplace.

Deb is Busy

Creating turnarounds in the workplace

We all know that because of the pandemic, businesses big and small had to make the switch to a completely different work environment. Whether everyone has been working from home or doing a hybrid set-up, business processes have experienced disruption and faced communication challenges.

However, this transition gave companies a chance to look into how they used to handle things at the office. They were able to change things up a little bit by adapting to a full online setting where people can get resolutions quicker. This not only made the employee experience better, it also paved the way for better customer service.

Automation as innovation

Automation in the physical workplace can be a little slow, and will definitely yield results that take quite a while to appear. In the virtual world, however, automation can yield results faster than you can blink.

When business processes migrate to an online setting, all communication will be virtual as well. With a communication app that is open to everyone, with proper channels and clear info distribution, customer service will be easier and faster, as well as getting to resolutions instead of dwelling on the problem.

For example, Slack allows people to communicate with everyone via specific channels, which means that you can get to the right people faster than you would at the office. All you have to do is click on the right channel or even just their name for a direct message and you would be able to speak to them and address your concern.

“It helps us a lot in efficiently dealing with incidents. Our teams know to look in the corresponding incident channel when we have a problem.” – Dennis Winter, VP of TechOps, Solarisbank  

Having clear access to people in the workplace has lessened the need for hierarchical communication. Memos are a thing of the past, or if they still exist, they do as a reminder, not as a gatekeeper of communication lines. Regular employees can speak with managers directly regarding specific concerns in the workplace.

Documentation in the workplace

All processes, communication, and reminders are documented in an efficient virtual workspace. Archives are created for future reference, and best practices are recorded for the company’s use. Even tech troubleshooting is documented, which can serve as reference for others who may encounter the same problem.
Documentation is a way of preserving continuity in a workplace, whether physical or virtual, and it can help streamline business, especially now that a lot of companies are working remotely.

Examples of automation in the workplace

There are a few examples of automation employed in the workplace, such as email marketing, SMS marketing, and even machine learning. These automations allow human employees to do what they do best: work on complicated tasks that are not meant to be solved by computers. For example, human relations such as customer service provider – customer cannot be enhanced by automation. Communication can be made better, but the conversations held between these two parties are solely human.

Proactive workflow design

Having a proactive workflow means that you do not just let workflow processes develop overtime and overlap with one another, creating a monster that makes it hard to extract information from. Workflow that evolves without proper streamlining and development can create a muddled workspace that has no clear reference. It is not efficient and can cause a lot of confusion for those who will use it.

Nowadays, there are apps and tools that allow people to build workflows, and there are no hierarchies to follow before one can build a workflow that actually works. If it works for the rest, it is considered good enough. The thought is that it can be developed over time anyway, since aforementioned apps and tools allow people to do simple tweaks to the workflow to make it better. 

“Marketing automation is the technology that propels your business into a new era of relationship based marketing with quantifiable results. When powerful technology meets effective implementation and internal process management, your company will soon find itself on a journey that leads to new heights of business success.” – Jon Wesley Miller, sportscaster

Having a proactive workflow allows work to be reinvented in such a way that employees waste lesser hours navigating among their apps. One app can do it all, as long as all other apps and tools needed at work can be connected to it. One click can lead you to a myriad of apps needed for one process, and it is all an employee will ever need to continue working.

Automation as the new imperative

Since work has migrated to mostly a virtual setting, automation allows leaders and employees to collaborate on workflows that work best for individuals and the company, as well as for the clients and customers. It allows people to just work, since all other tasks are automated by the app. 

Automated workflows allow lesser room for errors, and employees can work smarter and more efficiently with the help of apps and tools.

Workflows are more stable and efficient since it is a seamless collaboration of AI and human brain, which means that there is almost no need for repetitive and manual tasks. Automation eliminates the need for manual, human processes just to find errors. 

“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes, and procedures.” – Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

All employees should have the developer mindset when it comes to improving workflows. The developer mindset is to design, document, and keep improving workflows without waiting on the hierarchy to approve what they are doing. The developer mindset is only to improve, not to destroy. Hence, there is no need for approval from higher-ups before a process is implemented.

Lastly, an efficient workflow is always documented for future reference. This eliminates guesswork for future employees that are just getting integrated into the workspace. Information is free for all, and there is no bottleneck to pass through before someone in the company gets the answers they need.

Reinventing the workspace

Employees work alongside the apps and tools to reinvent the workspace for more efficiency. An efficient workspace has employees with developer mindsets, allowing for less error and better resolution handling.

Companies are now overhauling their virtual workspaces. They are continuously developing their workflows into something that is tangible and reliable, one that actually produces resolutions for problems, whether short-term or long-term.

It may have been a wild and challenging transition from a physical workspace to a virtual one, but leaders and employees are constantly innovating. The collaboration era has officially been ushered in, and people are talking more to each other to produce workflows that are comprehensive.

Today, manufacturing is changing faster than ever before and the drivers for this include globalization, individualization, time to market and sustainability” – Brian Holliday, Director, Siemens

Automation in the virtual workspace is, and from now on will always be, a thing of the present and of the future. It is for better customer service, better employee satisfaction, and for the company to grow continuously.

Reinvent Work to emerge better

Thank you for reading our Future of Work blog series. We hope that our insight has given you new ideas on how to reinvent work in your teams and businesses.

In the final part of this blog series, we’ll give you a recap of all the previous parts, and how each can function and help your company as a whole.

You can also subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive up-to-date information about other tips on how our distant assistants can help entrepreneurs grow their business. You also get FREE access to our Ultimate Distant Assistant Checklist when you sign up.

Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.


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