Do you spend a lot of time doing repetitive tasks every day? Do these tasks consume quite a chunk of your productive time?
If so, you should know you're not alone. According to an ABBYY survey, UK employees were losing 40 working days a year each on tasks that could be automated. Another study also stated that time wasted on repetitive tasks that could be automated was over 40 percent. It isn't possible to eliminate the mundane, repetitive tasks completely from our workload as they form a formidable part of it, but there's always a way to save time. If done correctly, you can reap great rewards using workflow and task automation.
The workflow automation market has grown leaps and bounds in recent years as more and more businesses are looking to incorporate task automation as a part of their day-to-day activities. The market, which was valued at $8.07 Billion in 2019, is set to reach $39.49 Billion by 2027.
Why should you automate your tasks?
The benefits are straightforward when it comes to automation. Although the implementation may need the help of skilled individuals to get your workflow automation established, your system should be close to self-sufficient once it's up and running—which saves time and money for the entire organization.
Imagine you have a daily task of posting a tweet on Twitter. Would you rather schedule all the posts you have planned for that week ahead of time, or would it be comfortable to manually post it everyday at the same time?
Let's discuss the pros and cons of having to do it manually:
- You need to keep a watch on your clock.
- You would have to keep the content ready and press the "Post" button at the right time.
- You need to be available at a particular time to post it, no matter what, or you are going to miss it.
However, a simple automation system like scheduling a week's worth of posts at once would help you get your job done well in advance, saving both time and worry.
Be more productive
Productivity and time management are directly related. If you save a lot of time, you get more time to do quality work. Monotonous tasks can also hamper your creativity, which could disrupt your productivity.
Workflow automation helps you bring data from other applications into one space, making it easier to manage that information more efficiently. For example, if you use a CRM and help desk tool, you could set up workflows to sync yourhelp desk information with your CRM. This way you can see more context at a glance, save time switching tabs, and get more done.
Don't miss any task or deadline
Most teams use a project management tool to track their tasks and deadlines. Keeping an eye on the deadlines could be difficult if you have to double-check every task manually. In this case, you can set up milestone and goal reminders, to be delivered either through an email or a simple notification, in order to keep your team on track throughout the project lifecycle to avoid any bottlenecks or roadblocks.
Minimize labor expenses
Artificial intelligence is commonly used in automation, and this helps reduce the need for a large workforce, as the software helps get the job done. If executed properly, this can help cut down on labor expenses in certain businesses. A study conducted by WorkMarket states that almost 31% of business leaders agree that automation leads to reduction in labor costs.
How can you start automating your tasks?
The scope for automation is wide. Repetitive tasks, administrative work, and any manual task with a set pattern can be automated. But where do you start with automation? Here's a list of recommended steps to give you a better understanding of how you can start automating your tasks:
1. Identify tasks that are repetitive and consume most of your time
The key to getting started with automation is to first identify the tasks that are eating up your time. Analyze these tasks to see if they are repetitive or have a pattern to automate. For example, let's say you're a support lead and you need to monitor the performance of your support executives. A cumulative weekly report of the number of support tickets closed by every support executive that week would help you study your team performance better. This is a task that can be automated.
2. Check if/how it can be automated
Now that you know what task has to be automated, the next step is to find out how you can automate it. You could set up an automation in your help desk software for a weekly report to be delivered to your inbox, or you could bring all the details from your help desk into a widget inside your communication app. Pick the method that will help you use the automation to its fullest potential.
3. Find the right tools for automation
Once you've decided what to automate and how you want it automated, you need to find the right automation tool to help implement it. A good collaboration application will offer workflow automation features. This will help you integrate your collaboration app with other external applications you use on a daily basis. You can either set up workflow automation to bring data from other apps inside your collaboration app or push data from your collaboration app into other integrated external apps.
4. Set up the automation and you are good to go
Workflow automation is sometimes done with the help of readily available extensions that integrate with external apps, but if you have a specific use in mind and can't find an extension for it, you would have to do it from scratch with the help of coders. Once the automation is set up, test it to check it works perfectly and make any necessary changes.
Team collaboration apps have become the need-of-the-hour for most businesses with the onset of remote and hybrid work culture. While choosing a collaboration app for your organization, make sure to select one that offers workflow automation to make it easier for your teams to get work done. This will help save time and maximize your productivity.
Zoho Cliq's built-in low-code platform can be used for building extensions and workflow automation across a wide range of applications and can be entirely based on your requirements. Start automating your repetitive tasks today to save time, maximize productivity and improve your efficiency.