The future of work will primarily be built on office automation. Transforming processes, creating automated workflows, and taking repetitive work away from employees, who we can redeploy to higher-value tasks, will change workplaces for the better, forever.
How and why will office automation be beneficial for the future of work.
What is office automation?
You can check out a definition of office automation and much more about what office automation is in this article from earlier in 2021.
What role will automated and digitized contracts play in the future of work?
Before we look closer at how office automation will improve your workplace, let's touch on the specific case of contracts in the future of work.
Thanks to tech, the future of work means you will potentially find yourself recruiting people from around the world. Why hire the best person in your city when you can choose the best person on the entire planet? You can use office automation tools to help you create digital contracts for new employees or even for gig economy contractors you hire on a project-to-project basis.
However, office automation is not just going to impact how you hire people; it will influence how you work with your customers, too. An automated office will mean you can connect your contract management software to your accounting software, CRM platform, and everything else in your tech stack. This will help your business create a connected, efficient customer experience. With work increasingly happening remotely and services being delivered cross-border, automated contracted will be a vital pillar of any automated office.
How will office automation improve your workplace?
When talking about automation, it is easy to talk about how it improves efficiency, saves time, and that sort of thing. However, the improvements to your workplace and benefits automation will deliver within the future of work will often be far wider-reaching and more profound.
In addition to our selected improvements below, this European Parliament paper is an excellent, in-depth analysis of this subject.
1. It will foster a culture of personal growth and improvement
A huge misconception, in my view, of office automation is that it will outright replace jobs. As McKinsey highlighted back in 2018, the more likely reality is that automation will replace activities, not jobs. This means your finance manager, for example, will still have a job, but it will look different from how it perhaps does today.
This is not a problem! On the contrary, it is an exciting opportunity to explore opportunities for personal growth. If anything, office automation will improve your workplace by empowering people to do the jobs they are passionate about rather than getting caught up in time-consuming, annoying administrative tasks. Furthermore, where automation helps create new job functions, our people can embrace the learning opportunities that will enable them to carry out these new functions. Alternatively, you might be able to hire people who have already specialized in a new role, giving you the benefit of knowing you are hiring a self-starter who is passionate about what they do!
Automation forces your business and people to have a personal growth and development culture and mindset, which will only be a long-term benefit.
2. It will create conditions for scalability and business growth
When you automate a process, you remove the limits of human capability.
This instantly makes your business easier to scale, which in turn leads to growth. For example, if you have a team that can deal with 20 client accounts simultaneously, automating a swathe of processes might enable them to deal with 30 at a time. You have increased your capacity by 50%, which will give a considerable return on investment against the cost of a handful of subscriptions to build your tech stack.
The future of work will see businesses growing like never before, with automation helping you do more with less, to a higher standard. In turn, this will enhance your service delivery and reputation with your customers, as well as potential future employees!
3. It allows your team to be happier
It is easy to find studies that tell you happier teams are more productive. This one from Harvard Business Review is an excellent example.
Office automation means you can run your whole company without ever having had an office! More importantly, it means your colleagues can access the data they need when they need it, wherever they are in the world. This means you have the conditions to allow your people to work at a time that works for them – a benefit that modern employees will appreciate! In addition, your team will never find themselves needing to perform mundane tasks for so many hours a week.
In talking about the impact of automation on productivity, we often focus on “30% time savings” or whatever metric we want to talk about. Imagine how much happier your people will be not having to waste nearly a third of their week doing things you can automate!
Office automation and the future of work
For many of your current and future employees, office automation will be the norm. They will never know what it is like to have non-digital “water cooler chat.” More to the point, they will never experience having to wait for a printer to work before filing something away in the correct cabinet.
And this is a good thing!
While office automation may be challenging for some, the reality is that it will be a prerequisite of being a successful business (and colleague) by the end of the decade. If you embrace office automation, the benefits it will deliver to you and your team are enormous.