4 Trends in Workplace Automation you Need for 2022
Introduction to workplace automation:
Before we take a look at trends in workplace automation, let's take a quick look at what exactly workplace automation is and what it does for a company. The answer is basically explained in the very name. According to screen cloud, “workplace automation is the process of instructing software and/or hardware with network connections to create automated workflows”. So, essentially utilizing platforms and software to automate menial tasks and free up resources for more important tasks. However, this can look different for every company, as everyone's workflows and processes are incredibly varied and complex -- meaning there is no blanket automation system for any one business. Automation transformations can be as simple as moving your workplaces to an online platform like Google workplaces to simplify collaboration, and as complex as implementing multiple PaaSs (platforms as a service) and writing custom scripts to automate specific tasks utilizing machine learning tools.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some top workplace automation trends that stood out to us and that we predict will take off going into 2022.
As artificial intelligence grows in popularity, so does its usefulness in automation. Most of us have used and become frustrated with poorly designed or incomplete chatbots when online shopping -- and that's all about to change with the introduction of practical AI. Practical AI is special because its built around not just self-learning but self-correcting. This is most effectively achieved through the inclusion of a human component in the AI self-correcting equation. The AI software will actually make fewer errors throughout the interactions, and the employee gets the opportunity to train and guide the AI software to take over repetitive tasks without fear of constant mishaps. Once the AI is properly trained and ready to go, it frees up valuable resources and time for employees to concentrate on delivering enhanced customer experiences.
Upskilling & Self Automation
If you have already implemented, or are in the process of implementing some smart automation systems, you might be wondering, “what are my employees doing with their added time?”. Well, they are most likely already teaching themselves some valuable new skills, or adapting their workflow to take advantage of this new-found time. According to an article by Forbes, “around eight out of 10 Americans believe a large proportion of work will be handled by bots within the next 30 years”. Leading to a huge increase in online training in new skills to take advantage of automation.
The good news? Most experts believe that more knowledge in employees isn't a bad thing at all, and often find that innovation and innovative thinking helps every part of an organization --
And even better, once an automation opportunity is identified, it can be shared among teams, making everyone more efficient, including management.
Trend 3: Flexibility & Collaboration
Good communication and ease of collaboration are more important than ever in our current working conditions. Whether employees are working across different parts of an office, or different parts of the world, the ability to easily collaborate on projects in real-time is necessary for a modern office environment to be successful. On top of all this, organizations need to keep stakeholders, vendors, and clients informed with accurate, up-to-date information - which is easier said than done. These days, paper rarely works for collaborative projects (if the team is even in the same room) and more often than not leads to inaccurate information being shared or lost in the shuffle.
By utilizing a smart Workflow Automation solution, we can easily share information across multiple departments and easily retrieve approvals, notes, and client signatures. With enhanced security features, you can also ensure that the right people are seeing the right documents at the right time. A digital system is far more productive than paper, and can help your entire organization be more collaborative across varying projects and departments.
More often than not, at least according to PiF Technologies, “Flexible businesses are often successful businesses”. By embracing and investing in more robust automation technologies, an organization or business will find themselves more flexible in their ability to meet the needs of customers -- while sticking to a similar development process. Automation frees up resources and employees so that they can focus on more important tasks, leading to a more productive and effective business.
Trend 4: Automated Reporting
As was discussed in the last section, online meetings and collaboration is far more common in the modern “work from anywhere” workplace. A byproduct from this shift is a greater need for thorough reporting tools to make sure we are getting the most out of our more limited interactions. This process takes up more valuable time and resources, so that’s where the last trend comes in, Automated Reporting. Popular meet platforms like Zoom and Google have added functionality for live transcripts, and at the end of a session you can download these as text files. And more powerful tools like Stormboard have automated post-meetings reports that include screenshots of presentations, text summaries of the meeting, and you can even assign actionable items and tasks. These reports can be edited and adapted for different audiences, clients, and customers. Very handy!
There we have it, 4 trends in Workflow and Process automation that we feel will be extremely important and useful going forward into 2022. If you feel like your business could benefit from process automations of any shape or form, we are happy to discuss it in further detail with you. Our team of digital experts is always happy to talk about how best to implement digital strategies to help your business operate more effectively. Or, if you wanted more information on this or more topics in the tech space, check out some of our other blogs.
Thank you so much for reading!