Remote work has many benefits, such as autonomy, timeliness, and cost savings. It is becoming popular worldwide because it offers improved work-life balance, increased productivity, flexibility, and job satisfaction. It’s no wonder why remote work has become an appealing option in today’s workforce.
However, remote work has its own set of obstacles. Although some of these challenges necessitate sophisticated remote work solutions, others may be simply addressed with the aid of automation.
The challenges of remote work
As remote work grows, so do the challenges. Here are four common challenges with remote work that companies must address.
Ensuring seamless cooperation and collaboration
Because remote teams cannot see each other face to face, they frequently struggle with collaboration, especially without the correct tools.
At the same time, having too many collaboration solutions with no smooth integration or automation can easily lead to remote employees falling into silos, making remote collaboration even more difficult.
Tracking progress and maintaining transparency
It might be challenging to track how remote employees function within the team and if they submit all of their work on time when you are remote. Furthermore, tracking project progress and maintaining team transparency is a significant problem.
Effectively managing the team from a distance
Managing a remote team is not the same as managing an in-office team. You cannot just walk around the office checking on staff and seeing how they are doing. When working with a remote team, you must coordinate meetings and conduct 1:1 talks to bring everyone together as a team.
Keeping employee morale up
Working from home can cause remote employees to feel separated from their team, which can decrease employee morale and engagement. To foster openness, rapport, and trust among team members, a remote team requires a variety of tactics, as outlined in this guide.
Automation is one of the finest solutions to overcome bottlenecks and deliver a more simplified work experience for your staff.
How automation saves time in a remote work setting
Automation tools are becoming increasingly popular, and the reasons are quite obvious. These tools are designed to make work easier and increase productivity while reducing repetitive tasks.
With remote work, team members often work across different locations. This, of course, has its own challenges. Remote teams often face difficulties in managing their time while at the same time meeting deadlines.
However, there are automation tools that help remote teams save time. These automation tools help teams collaborate more seamlessly and manage their tasks more efficiently.
Let’s take a look at how automation tools can help remote teams save time and improve efficiency.
1. Automation tools improve time management
Time management is one of the most significant challenges many remote teams face.
Because remote workers often work remotely, they frequently struggle to manage their time. Often, remote workers have a day job and a remote side gig.
Time management is essential in both situations, and often remote workers don’t know how to manage their time effectively. This is why using an automatic time tracker like Paymo Plus gives users a good idea of how they spend their time. They leave the app running in the background, and all they need to do is match time entries to their corresponding tasks and projects at the end of the day.
Even something as simple as logging hourly work entries can be automated with the help of timesheet software, giving you more time to focus on deep and meaningful work. When teams use automation tools, they can automate repetitive tasks and spend more time on tasks that require more focus. Automatic time trackers rid employees of some of that administrative work.
Freelancers, consultants, accountants, and lawyers or creatives working for an agency opt for some of the best time-tracking tools out there to track their hourly work and bill their clients.
2. Automation tools improve team communication and collaboration
Communication is probably one of the biggest challenges of remote work. Without the right communication tools and automation, remote teams can easily become disengaged.
With automation tools, remote teams can collaborate more seamlessly and work more efficiently. Remote team members can easily share files, projects, calendars, and everything related to their work. They can review versions, highlight design changes, fileproof, and leave annotated comments. On an integrated platform, collaborative work is made easy.
You must coordinate your team’s efforts for project success.
When it comes to project management, you can’t only rely on phone calls and SMS. It’s old school and unnecessary. In-app comments, email and push notifications or a Slack integration with your project management software – this is the way to go.
3. Automation improves transparency
You promote transparency throughout the remote team by automating, simplifying, and transforming procedures into workflows. Greater openness leads to greater responsibility among remote teams.
Managers may be instantly alerted whenever a team member submits their work, reducing miscommunications and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Managers have a bird’s-eye view of the team’s tasks. All tasks displayed on the meta Kanban board can be filtered and sorted for better prioritization.
Similarly, suppose work isn’t completed even beyond the deadline. In that case, team members may be automatically advised of the delay, rather than the manager needing to inform them about the remaining chores with a simple push notification.
No one likes a manager who micromanages every aspect of their work. You don’t need to ask them what they are working on – use the Active Timers to see on a timeline which tasks each team member is working on.
Since your remote team members are working from a distance, keeping your presence out of their way is crucial. Managing a large group of people shouldn’t appear to be a burden.
4. Automation makes it easier for IT departments
Automation gives IT teams important technical support that makes their jobs easier and lets them do more complicated work.
They can use software robots in their contact centers to quickly answer support tickets. This cuts down on the time people have to wait for help and lets employees keep working.
These robots can be set up to pull key information from multiple sources to solve employee requests. They can then use AI to figure out how to fix the situation. If the task has to be given to a person to solve, the robot has already gathered all the information the IT team member will need, which helps them find a solution faster.
Because robots can do repetitive tasks that take a lot of time, like collecting data, IT teams have more time to work on digital transformation projects, like leading the way on technologies that keep the business running and help it do more.
5. Automation eliminates human errors
Automation eliminates human errors and mistakes by automating repetitive tasks and categorizing files. With automation, employees can focus on more important tasks rather than wasting time on manual tasks.
Let’s take invoicing, for instance. Why waste time manually filling out invoices and sending them to your clients when you can generate one with a few clicks? Plus, you can automate invoice generation further with integrated online payment gateways or recurring profiles.
Manual tasks are not only tedious but can also lead to human errors. And these errors can often be quite costly—no pun intended. Read this guide to see which invoicing mistakes to avoid to save time and money.
Let’s take another example. Compliance issues often result in fines, negative publicity, and damaged reputations.
By automation compliance issues, you make sure your remote teams are always up-to-date and in compliance with policies, procedures, and regulations. Implementing a cloud-based archiving software helps you automate data retention and securely store your files and data, ensuring that your team is always ready in the case of an audit.
6. Automation brings down operational costs
Automating simple tasks, like data entry, can save a lot of time, and this, in turn, reduces the operational costs of remote teams.
By automating simple tasks, you can minimize human errors, which helps increase operational efficiency. And remote teams often spend less time on tedious tasks and more time on tasks requiring more focus.
7. Automation helps you scale up
Workflow automation might be intimidating at first. The possibilities of workflow automation software may be confusing at first, but as you become more familiar with it, new ones become apparent. Each department has a unique set of requirements, yet workflow automation may help everyone.
Workflows are added to as needed after a simple one exists. The more you utilize workflow automation, the easier it becomes to learn. Repetitive jobs can be automated over time, allowing workers to devote their attention to more important matters.
It’s also easy to fix issues. After a software problem, IT was the first place you would go. Your solution may be delayed if they are overloaded. When you automate your process, you better understand how it functions and what needs to be changed. So, employees can modify and upgrade their applications without relying on IT for assistance.
8. Automation helps optimize HR processes
Remotely onboarding new staff necessitates a lot of the same chores over and over again. You don’t have to keep your HR staff from focusing on tedious tasks, such as ad posts and tracking performance metrics; instead, you may automate these operations.
A single employee information database is necessary for HR professionals to be more effective in screening, recruiting, and training.
Another optimization you should consider is having a leave planner or resource management tool. Centralizing the processing of leave requests and payments might relieve HR personnel of some of their responsibilities.
9. Automation helps make the right decisions
Making judgments without considering all relevant evidence is a sure way to fail—unless you’re fortunate. Workflow automation solutions give helpful information you would not be able to obtain if you performed the operations manually.
Automation saves time and allows you to quickly gather and analyze data. The more high-quality data you have, the more likely you will make smarter judgments that will save your firm a lot of money.
Over to you
Automation tools can help your remote teams easily overcome the challenges of remote work. By implementing the right workflow automation tools, you can eliminate the need for repetitive tasks and focus on more important tasks.
Automation tools also help remote teams collaborate more seamlessly and simplify their communication.
When teams are more efficient, they are more likely to collaborate, communicate, and be more productive.
Alex is a passionate tech blogger, internet nerd, and data enthusiast. He is interested in topics that cover data regulation, compliance, eDiscovery, information governance, and business communication.