Time is money. Yours. If employees spend most of their working hours on routine tasks, they won’t have much time for creative and strategic work. So how can you save time? Leave some tasks to technology.
Sorting emails, sharing documents, approving them, coming up with answers… Such unproductive activities take up a large part of the day and can be quite exhausting. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available to save you time and clicks with the help of machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation. Read our tips on how to use Microsoft 365 to automate your daily repetitive activities so you can focus on something meaningful.
Benefits of automation:
- Saves employee time by doing many routine repetitive tasks for them.
- It also unloads their mental capacity. They don’t have to watch deadlines, think about forwarding a task to a colleague, or decide which email to reply to. They have a clear head to be productive, creative, and tackle topics that move you forward.
- It reduces the likelihood of errors, which means more accurate and reliable results and happier customers.
- Makes it easier to organize work when process steps automatically build on each other. You can set up an order path from receipt to delivery, create automated marketing campaigns, or automate the various stages of onboarding new employees.
- Leads to greater efficiency and productivity. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) and have reports and insights generated so you can more easily identify and resolve any issues right away.
Automation in practice
Even if it sounds complicated at first, you can do it easily. And you may find that you’re already using automation today without even knowing it. Many CRM or HR applications work this way, and many automation features and tools are included in the most widely used office suite, Microsoft 365.
For example, in Microsoft Outlook, you can set up rules to sort your messages into folders, forward them to colleagues, or receive email notifications from a specific important contact even when notifications are turned off.
Automation is also possible in everyday Excel or Word. Use macros to make Excel perform repetitive calculations, filter, analyse and sort data or generate reports. Word, on the other hand, lets you automatically insert company headers, formatted tables, create table of contents, or search and replace text and formatting in documents.
Beware, enable macros only if you are sure of what they do and the document is from a trusted source. You don’t need macros just to open a document.
The hot new thing is Copilot, which already involves artificial intelligence. The feature will gradually be integrated into all Microsoft 365 office tools, such as Word, Excel, Power Point and Teams. It will be used, for example, to design the content of documents or presentations and perform a number of other tasks that you will enter in natural language. And it will also make it easy to create flows in Microsoft Power Automate.
Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft Power Platform is an important tool for office automation. This platform brings together several tools for automating and managing business and office processes.
Microsoft Power Automate is used to create automation flows and workflows. For example, when an email comes in with a specific keyword, it will save the attachment in a specific folder. Or the tool notifies you of new tasks or, after creating a task in one application, saves it to your calendar in another application. You can create different flows here yourself from a rich menu of ready-made templates, or go the more complex route of custom procedures.
Microsoft Power Apps lets you create mobile apps and forms with minimal programming. It can help you automate data collection, form filling or application processing without the need for manual data entry.
Microsoft Power BI is a data visualization tool, in other words, it creates clear graphs and tables from any input, making it easier to make business decisions based on relevant information.
If you’re interested in finding out how to make your job easier, keep an eye on our blog and social media. And if you want a consultation, training or automation setup in the Microsoft ecosystem, don’t hesitate to contact us.