Automation in the Hybrid Workforce: Automating Productivity

Automation in the Hybrid Workforce: Automating Productivity

From enhanced efficiency to lower operating costs, the world of hybrid work has a lot of benefits to offer. It’s no wonder countless companies are continuing to invest in more flexible working models for the post-pandemic era. Of course, as any business manager will know, it can be difficult to manage, motivate, and support a team when they’re not always available in-office.

Part of making sure your company can survive the shift to a more “digital workforce”, is investing in the right tools and technology.

UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) solutions can provide access to valuable tools for cloud-based communication and collaboration, to keep teams connected. CCaaS services offer access to contact center functionality, no matter where your agents might be located. One of the most valuable tools for many companies as we move ahead into the age of hybrid work will intertwine with both UCaaS and CCaaS tools, and that’s automation.

The Benefits of Automation in the Hybrid Workplace

Leading analyst Gartner suggests that around 80% of processes should be automated, and the remainder should be “augmented.” As workplaces continue to strive for better efficiency and productivity among a distributed team, automation can solve a lot of common business problems.

For business leaders, automation is an opportunity to reduce costs, by handing some otherwise expensive tasks over to bots, while your human employees focus on more complex challenges. For employees themselves, automation can be a chance to gain more satisfaction out of work, with less time spent on mundane processes, and more support when tackling common challenges.

Already, many vendors in the UCaaS and CCaaS environments have begun adding elements of automation to their offerings, to help modern companies unlock the benefits. For instance, some of the main tools automating productivity in the hybrid workplace include:

1. Virtual Assistants 

Virtual assistants can be extremely valuable to employees wherever they are, and many involve aspects of automation. For instance, by the end of 2022, IDC predicts around 65% of CIOs will be empowering frontline workers with AI, data, and security tools delivered via automation.

A virtual assistant enhanced with AI and automation can detect when a person enters a room in the office, and load up their meeting settings instantly, so they can start a video session in seconds. Automated solutions can also surface important information about meeting contacts in an instant, and record, transcribe, or even translate conversations in real-time.

The right automated assistant may even have the power to pinpoint keywords in a meeting and suggest potential follow-up and action items in end-of-meeting scripts.

2. Process Automation 

Process automation is evident in a number of areas throughout the UCaaS and CCaaS space. For instance, automated routing systems are an excellent example of how companies can set up technology to send a call or conversation to the right person without human intervention.  

However, process automation can also be applied to a range of other parts of the hybrid workflow. When teams are working remotely from a range of different environments, collaborating with their colleagues over the cloud, an automated system could automatically back-up, and save regular versions of the team’s work to the cloud.  

Automated systems can also help with things like scheduling appointments based on synced calendars or sending reminders and notifications to team members about upcoming deadlines. This saves business managers and supervisors a lot of time and effort when it comes to keeping track of a hybrid team’s productivity.  

3. Technical Support and Guidance

Companies aren’t the only entities still getting used to the challenges of hybrid work. Employees often need a little extra help too. When working remotely, on the field, or anywhere outside of the office, staff won’t always have access to IT teams and assistants to help them when something goes wrong. However, with automated bots, this doesn’t have to be a problem.

Automation solutions built into UCaaS helpdesks can assist employees in troubleshooting and finding solutions to their own problems, so they can address issues wherever they are. This reduces the risk of disruption and downtime for employees outside of the office.

Companies can even create entire bot systems and automated workflows to guide hybrid employees through processes like setting up new UCaaS features or installing patches on their CCaaS technology.

4. Workforce Optimization and Management

Many of the latest iterations of UCaaS and CCaaS technology are beginning to implement aspects of workforce optimization and management tools, to help improve hybrid worker productivity. These tools can have a host of automation elements built into them. For instance, you might set up a system which automatically reports important metrics about your contact center agent’s performance to both a supervisor and the agent itself.

This real-time stream of information can help to keep teams motivated, as well as showing business managers which people need extra support. Automated notifications may even inform supervisors and managers when the sentiment of a conversation is dropping, so they can jump in and take control.

Automation in the workforce management environment can also be implemented to help with things like shift swapping without the need for manager input or shift scheduling. Many companies are also using automated surveys and bots to check in on employee engagement levels and maintain high levels of staff wellbeing in age where it can be difficult to keep staff from leaving.

5. Automated Business Insights

Perhaps the most obvious use for automation in the hybrid workplace, is to collect valuable information, sort through data, and leverage valuable insights on how to optimize the business. In today’s hybrid workforce, many companies are making rapid changes on a consistent basis to ensure they’re keeping their employees happy.

The only way to ensure staff stay productive, and customers continue to get the best possible experiences, is to collect and learn from as much data as possible. Unfortunately, asking employees to collect information and submit manual reports themselves would take a lot of time and money.

Automated AI systems, on the other hand, can collect information from everything from workplace processes to contact center conversations automatically. These tools can then scan that information for signs of patterns and trends and offer suggestions on how to improve company outcomes.

Demand for Automation Continues to Grow

Increasingly, companies from every industry of every size, are beginning to discover that a hybrid workforce requires a new approach to supporting employees. Part of this shift means providing staff with the additional tools they need to perform at their best, from anywhere.

Automation elements in UCaaS, CCaaS, and other essential business tools don’t just benefit the business bottom line, they make a crucial difference to your team too.

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