Although cities around the world are in different stages of re-opening, Covid-19 has left an indelible mark on the business world. In particular, the topic of automation is receiving a great deal of attention.
While some businesses may return to the office, it is likely that many will remain remote for the foreseeable future given the uncertainty with the pandemic. This means working from home will continue to be the norm for countless individuals.
Companies should enact measures that go beyond giving employees hardware and collaboration tools — meaning that they should consider making long-term investments in employee productivity and satisfaction. Automating low-level and mundane tasks that take up employees’ time and reduce morale will be an easy win in this respect.
In my experience as a developer of AI-powered productivity solutions for law firms, I believe that implementing and adopting automation solutions can ultimately lead to major cost savings for professional services firms and more satisfied employees.
Companies globally are feeling the impact of the pandemic, and professional services firms are not immune. From my perspective in the case of law firms, as many large law firms are making the difficult decision to lay off administrative staff, the ratio of assistants to attorneys becomes much higher. For many lawyers, particularly associates, this means they are likely taking on more administrative tasks, such as document filing and time entry. Automation could help law firms to continue to function, without inundating their lawyers with mindless administrative or mundane tasks.
The reasons for automation within professional services go beyond layoffs. With entire industries like hospitality and travel suffering from the standstill that the global pandemic has brought on, many firms that provide services to these businesses, like accountants and consultants, which often bill by the hour, are seeing a major impact to their bottom line. Every dollar counts in this environment; automated solutions, such as time capture, can be effective toward helping these firms see more revenue this year by ensuring that all time worked can be billed for, with minimal effort on the part of the professional.
For many professional services firms, it feels like the future has come too soon. Despite the writing that has been on the wall for the past decade and the widespread availability of technology to automate mundane administrative tasks, many companies have dragged their feet.
The pandemic has brought with it newfound urgency, but the task of ensuring that productivity and morale do not suffer may seem daunting, particularly while many companies are still in survival mode. The steps below can help firms assess where they can find new efficiencies with the use of technology.
Despite the hard times that many professional services firms might fall upon, it is clear that the work of professionals will not be automated in the near future. Rather, the right technology will automate the tasks that professionals find most onerous and time-consuming — the ones that create little value for the business but a lot of frustration for the executor.
Businesses that use this opportunity to deploy such technology will not only experience revenue preservation at a time when it is most important, but will also likely have happier employees.
This piece was originally featured in Forbes Technology Council.