How to improve hybrid work with process automation
Carlos is feeling very frustrated. He’s working from home today and is trying to submit an expense report to his company’s payment system. He needs to fill in a specific form to claim back money, but he can’t find it anywhere on the company intranet. Usually, he would ask the person on the next desk over. But that’s not possible when working remotely, so he wastes 45 minutes just trying to do this simple task.
Over the past year and a half, millions of businesses have adapted to hybrid working and it has brought many benefits to companies and employees. But it has its drawbacks too. Workers are more likely to get distracted, experience virtual overload or struggle with technology issues. So, as this model becomes increasingly normal, it’s important to consider how your business can improve hybrid work.
In our recent webinar series, we explored a range of hybrid work model best practices. And a proven way to improve hybrid work is with process automation. Let’s see how.
What is process automation?
Process automation is about using digital technologies to replicate processes that would normally be done manually using paper and interaction between individuals. Almost any process in a business can be automated – from simple things like Carlos’s expense report, right up to complex workflows around legal, customer service, or sales.
eBook: 5 processes that companies are automating now
Why hybrid workplaces are crying out for process automation
Process automation is especially valuable to businesses that have introduced hybrid work arrangements.
At many organizations, processes are dependent on face-to-face interactions between employees from different departments and business units, as well as external partners and customers. They rely on people like Carlos walking over to the finance department to ask for a paper slip where he can fill in his expense report, write down the information, staple his receipt to the slip, and hand it back to a junior finance employee. That employee then enters Carlos’s information into a system.
But if many of your staff are working remotely some or all of the time, these steps become much harder to complete. This is where process automation helps.
By digitizing your manual processes, you make it possible for employees to simply log into your intranet and kick off a process regardless of their location. Whether they’re working from home, are at the office, or are connecting from a hotel, is it possible to complete processes that previously required manual in-person interactions.
Process automation can improve hybrid work by:
- Eliminating the need for face-to-face interactions
- Saving time that is usually spent looking for forms on your intranet
- Avoiding the risk of key information getting lost in email inboxes
- Ensuring important data is stored securely
- Reducing the time spent doing repetitive data entry tasks
How to improve hybrid work with process automation
Using digital technologies to automate processes allows you to implement hybrid work model best practices. With a process automation platform like Nintex, it is easy to begin automating both simple and complex workflows. Here’s how:
- Identify key processes
Before creating digital workflows, you first need to identify the kinds of processes that your employees are doing. Begin by focusing on pain points that hybrid workers are struggling with—whether it is expense report submissions, like for Carlos, automating desk booking systems, or remote work requests. After identifying pain points, you can start creating simple workflows to solve common problems.
- Map out your processes
The next step is to map out the processes on paper, or by using a program like Nintex Promapp®. You can list out each individual step, breaking it down to its individual stages to ensure the process includes all the information and steps you need.
- Build the workflow
Next up, you simply build out the workflow in an environment like Nintex Workflow. Users do not need any specific coding knowledge for this, so you can begin building effective and efficient workflows for hybrid work arrangements in just a couple of hours.
- Publish and promote your solution
Finally, you need to publish your workflow on your company’s intranet or wherever your employees do their work (such as an environment like Microsoft Teams). It’s also important to communicate with staff so they know how to complete this process in future by using the workflow.
Improve hybrid work with process automation
As more and more employees are working remotely (at least some of the time), there will be fewer opportunities to complete processes manually and in person. Without some kind of process automation in place, workers will either need to wait until they’re in the office to complete tasks or spend hours doing them manually at home.
To learn more about how process automation can improve hybrid work, watch our hybrid work webinar series today. Or for more information, request a demo and learn about using Nintex to build workflows for your hybrid teams.