When thinking of automation, you may forget that the work you do in your office is also a place that you can start automating. Yes, you want to automate as much as you can outside the office, too but one of the first places you can streamline your efforts is via office automation. There is more to office automation than going paperless. It’s about removing the human component or at least your need to act to get something done.
- Design Your Workflow – For every project, you do in your office, there is a process that ensures successful completion. Design a workflow for each project so that you know the full process. You cannot automate anything if you don’t know each step that it takes to get to finished properly.
- Notice Anything You Do Repeatedly – If you do it again and again, chances are it can be automated. For example, if you always need to transfer data from one place to another to get started with your work, can that task be automated using IFTTT.com?
- Ensure Your Office is Compatible with Your Real Life – Most people who work for themselves need their office to travel with them. You’ll want to avoid using any system that is not compatible with mobile devices and systems. You should not have to go to your PC to get it done. The more mobile your tools are, the more likely you are to be able to use automation software too.
- Check Compatibility with Your Existing Software and Systems – When you choose new tools to use for your business to enhance automation, it needs to work seamlessly with the software and systems you already use to be worthwhile. Of course, the one exception is if you’ve been stubborn about upgrading and using the best tools due to the cost of investment. If you are using older free tools cobbled together, you will have more issues making automation work than if you bite the bullet and invest.
- Always Test the Results – Each tool that you use has native analytics and reports that you can use to determine if you’re getting the results that you wanted. If you’re not, don’t keep doing the same thing. Use the metrics to inform your next steps. Always make data-centric choices for your business.
- The Small Stuff Does Matter – Even the smallest thing can change your entire workday. For example, what if you automated your office so that when you walk into your office, the light turns on, and so does your computer? Anything you can reasonably do to cut down on the steps will make you more productive and save tons of time, your most valuable resource.
Automating your office, whether it’s designed to turn on your computer, make you a pot of coffee, or turn on the lights, or it’s using software to let artificial intelligence do the task for you, will all help to make your days go much more smoothly. You’ll save time and be able to stay on top of the important stuff that needs your personal touch.