Here’s how to boost productivity, improve employee experiences and reduce costs by simply embracing automation solutions.
It can be a hassle dealing with the inefficiencies of traditional office processes. If you are a small business, you might feel office automation isn’t much of a priority as you can already perform your tasks using laptops, desktops and mobile devices. But automation could be an easy way to reduce the cost of operations and increase productivity.
“Office automation is a broad question that extends into many areas of an office, from waste reduction to minimising employee overheads and costs and improving use of space, but every week we walk into a customer office space and identify several things that could be automated,” says visitor management system Go Reception cofounder and chief executive Steven Barrett.
Barrett is also cofounder and chief executive of payment automation solution Payhero. He and his team at Go Reception spend their time thinking about and developing automation solutions that improve workplace productivity and employee experiences. Here is his advice on the key things to consider:
1. Back up your data
This is a critical step that should be done as soon as possible. There are so many inexpensive tools on the market you can use, as well as many popular cloud storage platforms, such as Google Drive or Apple iCloud.
2. The little things count
Aside from the cloud, improving your office automation could be as simple as integrating a feature into an existing product or implementing another complementary digital solution, says Barrett. No matter what your area of focus is, it will likely require some process change, which can take a little time for employees to get used to: “Introducing something as basic yet as obvious as a visitor management system is a good first step. It’s non-invasive and solves some real-world problems for the customer, the employee and the receptionist on the front line.”
3. Security and peace of mind
Automating door locks when an employee arrives and signs in on a digital system not only means the workplace is secure, it instils peace of mind in the employee and visitor, as they know the organisation is serious about the wellbeing of its inhabitants. “And this is just the office – ideally you need to be looking at your entire building’s control and access system, from security to inhabitant wellbeing.”
4. Improve the social aspects of the office
Products like Slack do a great job of connecting employees as it allows teams to send direct messages or create private channels for sensitive information. “I think it’s important to take it one step at a time and not look for an amazing all-in-one solution. You will likely end up with things you do not need [and] paying for unnecessary features. Consider first how to make existing operations more productive before considering a complete replacement of a resource or supplier.”
5. Increase customer satisfaction
When you are able to save time and money through automation, you can direct that saving into the wellbeing of the office space as well as increase operational and financial efficiencies, says Barrett. Then you can ensure your customers get the royal treatment so that they become a regularly paying customer.