When this mock GoPro ad went viral a couple of years ago, it clearly struck a nerve with frustrated office workers. The video, set to electronic dance music that normally accompanies GoPro footage of extreme sports like surfing or bungee jumping, shows the far less extreme daily routine of a bored office employee—printing, filing and procrastinating at work.
Given how much the video resonated with workers, what would it mean for your business if you could automate repetitive tasks that everyone hates?
The Opportunity to Automate Repetitive Tasks
By taking the opportunity to automate repetitive tasks, you enable your employees to become more productive and help them avoid doing the jobs they hate. Very often, the following tasks can take up to a full day of an employee’s week; sometimes these are even expected to be completed outside of working hours. So, if they can be automated, employees will be super grateful!
1. Expense Requests
Most companies still expect employees to file expenses accrued while on business manually via a paper form, before being scanned and emailed to the finance department. The employee therefore needs to keep a paper copy of any receipts for expenses; if they get lost, the employee may not be able to get any money back at all.
Automating the process of filing expense forms couldn’t be easier. A digital version of an expense form can be completed on mobile and allows the employee to take a photo of their receipt the moment they receive it before uploading this directly to the company’s intranet. Reimbursement could, potentially, be almost immediate.
2. Document Approval
The document approval process is one of the most tedious tasks in any organization. Common documents that are produced and approved time and again, such as press releases, monthly reports or formal agreements with clients, all need to be reviewed and approved by different managers. They all need to be checked, and changes agreed upon. And everyone finds the process incredibly boring. What’s more, one employee gets the unfortunate job of chasing up their colleagues until documents are approved.
The document approval process is a great place to start when you choose to automate repetitive tasks. By designing a workflow that incorporates all the essential steps, and which will automatically remind colleagues to complete their role in a process, you save hundreds or even thousands of hours per year.
3. Entering Information into Contracts
If there’s one thing salespeople hate, it’s repetitively entering contract information into sales agreements. Every time they need to send a contract or another agreement to a client, they must manually search for a template file, change the details and add the up-to-date information. That’s just the kind of low-value and tedious work that most office workers hate.
So, automating this process is extremely valuable. By using workflow automation tools, you can automatically generate business documents using templates that contain your legal information, while also drawing in contract-specific data.
4. Booking Meeting Rooms
The process of booking a meeting room and finding suitable times in colleagues’ diaries can be slow and frustrating. The job usually involves lengthy email chains, getting in contact with an office manager and spending too much time trying to find a meeting room of the right size at the right time for everyone. It’s low value, time-consuming and tricky work.
So, what effect would it have on your organization if employees could book meeting rooms by simply filling in a form on their intranet, entering which colleagues need to be there and on what date? Imagine the form could automatically trigger a workflow that reviews everyone’s availability, as well as checking which meeting rooms are free, before suggesting the best meeting times for you.
When you choose to automate repetitive tasks, employees save hours on this kind of tedious back and forth, while the system is able to provide the best solutions in a fraction of the time.
5. Completing Time Sheets
Timesheets are intended to make sure employees are being more productive, by helping managers keep an eye on what staff are doing. Yet when completing them involves filling out paper forms, scanning them, emailing them to managers and HR and then other staff having to carry out dull data entry, they may well take up so much time they reduce productivity.
So, an automated timesheet completion process would be much more effective. Each employee would receive an automated email towards the end of the day where they could simply enter information into a form which is then sent off and automatically entered into your central database. This cuts the chances of staff forgetting to do their time sheets and makes the process much faster.
When You Automate Repetitive Tasks, Everyone Wins
Repetitive work is one of the most common pain points for office workers. So, if you can find a way to automate repetitive tasks, you make their working lives way more satisfying, and can also free up those resources to focus on more productive work.
If you’re ready to automate repetitive tasks at your organization, read our introduction: What is digital workflow automation?