The most difficult thing for remote workers is managing WFH distractions. Motivation, job development, burnout and collaboration with co-workers are all high on the list of challenges. There will always be challenges, whether your company has made the decision towards a remote work model or the present global circumstances has forced the change. With the remote work model, you’re moving away from a centralised configuration that you can readily monitor and control – to a more fluid set-up that’s largely out of your control. Remote work makes it more difficult to keep in touch with your team and monitor how they’re performing in their daily tasks.
Automation can alleviate our work
Automation is a highly debated topic in the field of technology for remote work. The main focus is on how to automate company operations that can eliminate the issues arising from working remotely. Companies are seeking ways to boost employees’ satisfaction while still meeting company goals.
Here are some works that can be done with automation:
- Maintain the flow of projects
In a conventional office setting, it’s simple to gather team members working on a single project for a fast update meeting. Employees can also walk over to each other’s desks to talk about how a project is progressing. All of these are still possible in a remote work environment, thanks to messaging software and video conferencing tools. While chats are easy to miss or misunderstand, and online meetings aren’t always easy to set up, implementing the right automation solution for enterprise collaboration is key. An efficient package allows everyone to see what is going on and who is responsible for what. Even when you’re not in front of a computer, this helps you maintain a sense of accountability. It also makes cooperation easier, especially when the software allows multiple individuals to work on a project at the same time.
- Reduce the strain on your IT department
Most companies would have struggled to make the transition to remote work, especially for those who were not expecting it. IT departments had most likely been working hard to ensure that everyone is properly set-up at home. They’ve also had to ensure that everyone gets proper access to the work output. At the same, employees also need to access company information from home rather than via an internal office server. Such access opens the company to online security risks which is a major concern for enterprises. Processes like security monitoring and even responding to simple support questions should be automated to free up the IT team who can concentrate on maintaining the system while robotic and AI-enabled solutions help with repetitive and manual activities in the background.
- Bridge the gap between office-based legacy systems and remote work spaces
When companies switched to remote configuration, one of the biggest challenges they faced was realising how dependent they were on their office technology. Older technologies, installed even before the remote working configuration, may not be compatible to sync with the latest online working techniques.
It will be a major undertaking to overhaul these systems, and it will almost certainly necessitate a significant investment of time, labour and money. While you strive to bring old systems up to speed, you may have to disrupt workflows and halt production or output for a period of time. Such disruption can be minimal with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) to bridge the gap between your old system and your new remote work arrangement. An intelligent system works well to provide a request to the personnel who needs it. Intelligent robots can save a lot of time by scanning the system much faster than a human can in order to obtain the information they need.
- Remove unnecessary administrative tasks
Administrative responsibilities are the misery of almost every employee, except for individuals who are explicitly hired to perform these duties. Filling out timesheets and creating invoices are mundane activities left to be completed at the last minute as they get in the way of genuine work. By implementing technologies that automate these types of operations, your staff will be able to focus on the jobs for which they were hired for. Remove any administrative tasks that aren’t absolutely necessary.
Automating these processes also benefits your company because a properly configured system eliminates the risk of human error. You’ll likely notice fewer errors, as well as track things like timesheets in real time for better work performance.
- Enhance your ability to track and record your processes
By their very nature, many process automation solutions allow you to keep track of activities, processes, workflows, and the history of work done on a system. This kind of oversight is invaluable when managing a remote team. A manager can keep track of everyone who reports to them without having to continuously ask for updates. You can also recall records if there’s an issue to check when it happened.
This may feel like “Big Brother is watching,” but it will save you a lot of sorrow and headaches in the long run. Completed processes are saved so that you can look up information or make decisions later. Managers who develop workflows can keep track of version histories and roll back to previous versions in the event of a serious error or if the workflow takes a different path. Having these pieces automatically captured will provide a buffer to guarantee that work is not lost, and processes continue to advance.
Automation in remote work offers a lot of benefits ranging from using the collaborative tools to process automation technologies that take over trivial chores and streamline operations. It doesn’t eliminate the human element; rather, it amplifies it. You’re not replacing your team with machines; you’re simply improving the efficiency and productivity of the workplace.