How Process Automation Can Simplify Remote Work

Updated: October 20, 2020
by Cristian Morales

Remote work has become more popular in the past few years, but the number of people who had to transition from working in an office to working at home has skyrocketed lately. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 4.7 million people were already working remotely, but now that number has increased.

While remote work has a lot of benefits, it can be very hard to ensure all of your employees are being productive and efficient. Luckily, it’s easy to keep track of all of your remote work and even simplify it with business process automation. Here’s how you can make it happen.

How Process Automation Can Simplify Remote Work

Encouraging Employee Accountability

Just because your team doesn’t share the same physical space anymore doesn’t mean you can’t maintain employee accountability. In fact, process automation can help you encourage accountability even more.

Encouraging employee accountability

Most of the time, employees who work in offices know what projects need to be completed but don’t know the specific responsibilities and tasks of each worker. This can lead to the workload not being divided evenly and fairly.

When you set up business process automation for remote workers, it’s easy to avoid confusion about who is responsible for which task. Each employee has their own task to focus on and everyone knows what their responsibilities are.

It’s useful to have a document that’s available to all employees which details the tasks every employee needs to complete as well as the deadline for those tasks.  

Increasing Productivity

Increasing Productivity

Productivity may decrease when teams who are used to working in an office have to go from having an established routine to working at home. However, you can ensure your workflows stay efficient if you organize your digital workplace.

With automation, it will be much easier to identify the work that needs to be prioritized and see where all of your team’s efforts are going.

Automation can help you increase productivity no matter the location where your team is performing their tasks. Since 45% of current paid activities can be automated by today’s technology, you will undoubtedly find some processes you can automate.

When you know which employee is accountable for which part of every project you assign, you can perform an audit to see if any of these tasks can be automated. You will undoubtedly find that some of your employees spend a lot of time on pointless activities that can easily be automated.

Once you identify these menial and easily-automated tasks, you can minimize your employee’s workload. When workers don’t have to worry about repetitive tasks and can focus on important projects, productivity will increase.

Improving the Quality of Work

Improving the quality of work

All of your employees were hired because they’re experts in their fields and are skilled enough to complete all essential business tasks. However, when you switch to remote work, employees need to keep up with their everyday workload while also dealing with external distractions.

It’s important to allow your employees to focus only on important business tasks, which you can do by eliminating mundane ones. Things such as building client invoices, filling out timesheets, and drafting emails can all be automated to improve the quality of work for all other tasks.

This way, your employees will have a much smaller workload which they can keep up with even with all external distractions.

Decreasing Mistakes and Human Errors

Even though your team consists of highly-competent individuals, you need to accept that some mistakes are unavoidable. After all, your employees are only humans, which means that you can expect a certain level of human error, which is a recurring problem for menial tasks such as filling out timesheets.

When you automate some business processes, you can ensure a high level of consistency in your service delivery and a decrease in human error. While you can never ensure that your work is 100% accurate and mistake-free, you can rest assured knowing you will spend much less time checking the accuracy of automated tasks.

Where Can You Use Business Process Automation?

Where can you use business process automation

Business process automation can do much more than simplify remote work, it can also help you improve it significantly. Some areas of business that can benefit from automation include human resources and finance.

Human resource management automation

Automation can simplify the jobs your human resource team does for the following processes:

  • Employee onboarding. The onboarding process is very time-consuming when your employees have to manually fill out Excel sheets and send out emails. Onboarding new employees and training them becomes much easier and more efficient when you automate the process.
  • Leave request form. When you implement digital leave request forms, it will be much easier to track and manage employee absences. This will allow your managers to take all necessary actions and ensure these absences don’t affect operations.
  • Employee appraisal. Even though employee appraisal is of great importance, it requires a lot of time and effort so it’s usually not prioritized. When you use employee appraisal software, all departments will be able to review employee performance with ease.

Digital finance process

Your financial department will struggle with remote work unless you implement process automation, as it’s hard to keep up with finances when all employees work from different locations. This is why it’s important to automate the following processes:

  • Purchase order approvals. When you digitalize purchase order approvals, your purchasing process will be much more structured and managers will gain more control of the PO process.
  • Invoicing and accounts receivable. Issuing and tracking invoices manually is not only time-consuming but also very prone to human error. As your accounts receivables are what keeps your business running, you need to eliminate the possibility of mistakes, and that can be done with automation.
  • Procurement process. Most offices depend on a large stack of paperwork in their procurement process, which is impossible to achieve when you work remotely. If you automate this process, you will be able to keep all important documents in one place and prevent important losses.

Final Thoughts

Process automation has been on the rise for years now, and it’s made business processes in companies all around the world easier and more accurate. However, due to the unexpected shift to remote work many companies had to make, automation has transitioned from a helpful tool to a necessity.

Remote work would be impossible to keep organized and structured without automation. It’s hard enough to work at home without going crazy, so it’s your responsibility to automate as many processes as possible and make your employees’ jobs at least somewhat easier.

About the author 

Cristian Morales

Freelance writer and graphic designer with a can-do attitude. I became independent after spending 6 years in the hospitality industry and 5 years in banking & finance. I'm an all-rounder guy, open to working with like-minded people.

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