Business environments are constantly evolving to adapt to a fast-paced global market. With the continued advancement of technology, companies have embraced the integration of digital upgrades into their businesses.
The coronavirus pandemic has also hastened the digitization and digitalization of businesses worldwide.
With face-to-face interactions restricted during the pandemic, companies wanting to stay afloat in the rapidly capsizing global economy turned to IT solutions for help in their sink-or-swim situation.
Even as the world economy gets back on track and various sectors slowly begin moving toward a “new normal,” retaining the digital upgrades they have adopted in the past years.
These companies’ retention of their IT upgrades has a pretty straightforward reason: digital automation has increased their productivity.
How does automation increase productivity?
Automation can increase workplace productivity in many ways — from fostering smoother workflow to reducing the amount of needed human involvement.
Below are just a few of the ways automation improves productivity:
1. It reduces time spent doing menial tasks
Delegating routine and repetitive tasks, such as answering FAQs and doing email marketing campaigns, to automation saves employees time and effort.
Freeing employees from minor tasks that take up a good chunk of their time every day allows them to focus on the core parts of their job.
2. Automation increases job satisfaction, improving worker productivity
Automation can have a positive impact on employee job satisfaction.
Letting artificial intelligence (AI) take over a job’s particular aspects that employees consider “boring, tedious, or dangerous” can increase their morale.
Having happier employees, in turn, has led to an increase in workplace productivity.
3. It reduces the risk of human error
Human error is among the leading causes of workplace disruptions that cause loss of productivity.
These errors can occur due to lapses in judgment, insufficient technical skills or knowledge, or workplace fatigue. While these errors are almost always unintentional, they nonetheless cause delays in the workflow and production.
This can be bypassed or minimized by automating processes and delegating tasks to machines and AI with minimal human supervision.
Because AIs work much more efficiently than their human counterparts and are not affected by fatigue even after hours of working straight, the possibility of human error occurring is reduced while simultaneously increasing productivity.
4. It facilitates smoother logistics processes
Using the various software that has sprouted since the pandemic can help streamline a business’s workflow and logistics processes.
Embracing automation in following the logistics process of a business has led to an increase in productivity. Companies that have integrated automation in their daily operation entrust tasks like inventory management and processing customer data to AIs for improved accuracy and speed.
Which businesses benefit from automation tools that increase productivity?
While almost any business or company can benefit from automation, some stand to gain more than others.
Companies operating in the financial sector are among those that benefit most from automation. Because these companies tend to skew heavily towards data processing and analysis, they can automate a large portion of their operations.
As discussed earlier, doing this would give their employees more time to focus on other tasks that can’t be automated.
Another industry that benefits from automation is the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
Aside from freeing employees from mundane back-office tasks, automation provides BPOS with other advantages that improve productivity.
BPOs are highly reliant on data management. As such, automating data management processes gives them more efficiency and accuracy.
5 best automation tools to boost productivity in the workplace
There are many options to choose from when picking which automation tool to use for a business.
Read on below to see our top choices for automation tools that will boost productivity in your business.
If you’re looking for an automation tool that you can customize according to your needs and allows integration of other software, then Hive is right for you.
Hive is a project management software that lets you automate across thousands of apps. This tool integrates directly with other tools such as Zoom, Gmail, and Dropbox, allowing you to continue working undisrupted regardless of what tool your coworkers are using.
It also has a powerful new feature called Hive Automate, where you can “create” recipes that trigger off specific actions. These recipes can also be activated by IF or IF/ELSE conditions, repeat actions, or other recipes.
HubSpot is among the most powerful customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
With HubSpot, you can automate your company’s customer-related processes, such as email marketing campaigns.
It isn’t just limited to email automation, though. You can also use this platform to automate routine tasks such as data updates and team lead rotation.
Like Hive’s Hive Automate feature, you can also use HubSpot to create workflows triggered by specific conditions, such as sending notifications to your team based on a client’s action.
For small businesses with a limited budget, ActiveCampaign’s automation software might be the right fit.
Despite its lower cost compared to other automation tools, ActiveCampaign gives you access to features similar to HubSpot and other more expensive competitors.
ActiveCampaign also lets you integrate with other platforms such as WordPress and Shopify.
Keap is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and CRM automation platform. Formerly known as Infusionsoft, this automation tool is perfect if you have a small business (less than 25 employees) and want to automate sales and lead generation.
Keap provides you with all the features needed to automate your sales process successfully, such as lead capture, contact management, and email marketing. It also allows integration with other apps such as Zapier, Salesforce, and Google Apps.
Mailchimp is a leading contender for automating complex emails and newsletters. Its user-friendly and intuitive platform and automation features ensure its spot among the top automation tools.
Aside from email automation, Mailchimp’s platform also helps create and automate lead-capture pages, A/B testing, and more. It also offers email segmentation, allowing you to segment subscribers by category.
How to identify automation tools that increase workplace productivity
Choosing which automation software to use to improve your productivity can be overwhelming. With the plethora of automation tools available with different features, advantages, and disadvantages, you can quickly be overloaded with information.
However, there is a simple way of eliminating choices down to a few options.
Before settling with any automation tool, ask yourself the following:
- Is the software easy to use and user-friendly?
- Will it be able to scale with your brand’s growth?
- Is it versatile and can be used across multiple departments or industries?
- Does it fit your budget?
Remember that you’ll likely depend on the automation tool of your choice for a long time.
Hence, it’s almost imperative to pick one that has answered at least three, if not all, of the questions above to ensure that your automation will lead to increased productivity.
 Automation: Mosier, K. L. et al. (2013) ‘Automation, Task, and Context Features: Impacts on Pilots’ Judgments of Human–Automation Interaction’, Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 7(4), pp. 377–399. doi: 10.1177/1555343413487178.
 Email marketing: Zhang, X. (Alan), Kumar, V. and Cosguner, K. (2017) ‘Dynamically Managing a Profitable Email Marketing Program’, Journal of Marketing Research, 54(6), pp. 851–866. doi: 10.1509/jmr.16.0210.