How can automation support hybrid working?

How can automation support hybrid working?

Wednesday 15 June 2022

In March 2020, many people found their working lives overhauled in the space of just a few days. With strict lockdowns coming into force overnight to help curb the pandemic, companies were forced to allow staff to work from home to keep their businesses afloat.

Now, over two years later, many organisations have chosen to continue to allow staff to work remotely, introducing new tools and techniques to support hybrid working. This model can help to future-proof working practices, reduce costs and save time, as well as enhance productivity and contribute to a better work/life balance for employees.

Despite its benefits, hybrid working is still relatively new for many companies, and discussions around how best to implement it are ongoing. Here's where automation comes in. In this blog post we'll look at the ways in which specialised tools and techniques can be used to support the transition to hybrid working, as well as everyday challenges it may bring.

 

1. An automated chatbot can help answer staff FAQs

When team members are working across various locations, it may be harder for them to share their experience and pass on their knowledge to others. This can be especially problematic when onboarding and upskilling new recruits.

New team members may be nervous to reach out to others remotely to find out the answer to what may seem like a trivial question. Having to do this via email or telephone may feel like a bigger imposition than just asking a quick question to a colleague in an office setting. This may lead to new recruits not having all the information they need, or even existing employees feeling frustrated that they are spending too much time responding to basic questions.

Introducing an automated chatbot that can answer simple questions around particular tasks, explain acronyms, or provide step by step instructions can support onboarding new staff in a hybrid environment, as well as save time for existing employees.

AI technology can also learn from its users, gathering information on the kind of questions that are being asked frequently and allowing you to update answers to these in real time.

 

2. Cloud-based infrastructures can ensure consistency

Cloud-based infrastructure, such as online document management systems, allows staff to access up to date information in one place, whether they're working in the office or remotely and has seen a significant increase in investment since the start of the pandemic.

This can fuel collaboration, giving team members the chance to work on the same document at once with changes and comments saving automatically.

It also ensures consistency and saves time. For example, hosting details of important policies and processes in a way that is easily accessible means that staff won't waste time looking for them, and that everyone will be able to view the same information regardless of where they are based.

 

3. Two factor authentication systems can improve security

Hybrid working means that team members are likely to switch between various devices according to where they are working on a particular day. This can increase the risk of security breaches or accidental information sharing.

An automated two factor authentication system is a basic security measure that can make a big difference when it comes to hybrid working. This involves the use of two or more devices to authenticate an employee's log in to a system, helping to ensure that sign ins are genuine and decrease the likelihood of cyber attacks.

 

4. Automated workflows can keep employees accountable

Automated workflows allow companies to assign responsibilities to various team members throughout a particular process.

This helps team members to understand who is doing what, and can stop small jobs being missed or falling through the cracks when teams are working in different locations.

By clearly outlining responsibilities, automated workflows can support colleagues who are working remotely to effectively keep track of their workload and prioritise key tasks, reducing pressure on managers while maintaining accountability.

 

5. Automated KPI reports can track progress and highlight issues

Automating reports on key performance indicators means that these can be produced regularly in a short amount of time.Using automated processes to collect information is also often more reliable than manual data entry, and gives employees more time to focus on high-value tasks.

These reports can reveal any productivity bottlenecks and support managers across the business by providing the information they need to quickly fix problems or alter ways of working. The ability to identify these problem areas quickly can enhance overall productivity and avoid potential downtime.

Automated reports can also be shared with colleagues across the company, increasing their visibility of business performance and helping to establish a sense of purpose and community, whether they are working remotely or in the office.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that automation can be used to support hybrid working as companies continue to find their feet in this realm following the pandemic. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you to harness the power of automation within your business, simply contact us using the form below.

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