Companies planning to return to a physical workplace by 2022 (like 64% of enterprises surveyed by Deloitte) have a vital question ahead of them.
Do you try and get back 2019 levels of efficiency and culture, backed by similar processes? Or, can you take this opportunity to introduce improvements that accrue profits in the long term?
In the last few quarters, we have witnessed sweeping changes in how workflows are designed and executed in order to adapt to remote work. We have helped maintain employee work-life balance. We have helped organizations weather a difficult period in their business trajectory and come out on the winning side. Throughout all of this, technology has been an invaluable enabler – and will continue to be so throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
As workplaces reopen, it is an opportune moment to revisit your processes and structures with an eye on the future. Ring in some necessary transformation and gain a competitive edge through automation-aided workflows.
The World Has Changed for Good
The majority of the global workforce went remote in 2020. Financial services in particular (67%) was among the top three sectors to report a high score as per LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index in a remote environment.
Among mortgage companies, 62% saw a rise in productivity, but 52% also said that employee communication has suffered. In other words, permanent WFH for 100% of the workforce isn’t tenable for most organizations – or, indeed, advisable – but the lessons learned from this period must continue to inform processes. As companies gradually bring employees back to the workplace, the changes of the previous year and the opportunities ahead will decide where we go from here.
So, Where Do We Go from Here?
Right at the outset, it should be noted that companies cannot try and dial back all the process changes that have been introduced. Let’s take a simple example. If an employee was accustomed to receiving documents as PDFs instead of paper files, the same convenience must now be available in your physical workplace – even if your 2019 workplace was paper-based. Or, if someone chooses to WFH one day of every week and spend time with their kids, their work-life balance needs must be accommodated. To achieve this, companies require a whole new way of doing things – aided and abetted by automation.
So, to return to our question, “where do we go from here,” the answer is FORWARD.
How to Get Back Pre-Pandemic Work Culture but Make it Better
The measures you take to boost workplace productivity right now must tie back to the conversation around culture.
Maintaining a culture is the single most important concern as companies face yet another shift in their workplace approach. 32% are worried about the state of their culture, while 26% are concerned about performance – and the two go hand in hand. Fortunately, the strategic use of automation in key places can help. Workflow automation reduces workloads, boosts morale, and increases efficiency while making your company more agile and productive. Here are five examples of its transformative potential as you reopen the workplace in 2021-2022:
- Secure the workplace with contactless visitor management – Research suggests that over 42% of US employees are worried about health risks in the office. Automation can power contactless solutions that curb COVID hazards. For example, contactless visitor management can help process guests via mobile self-service, QR codes, and OTPs, without requiring a human employee at the receptionist’s desk.
- Make employees’ lives simpler to increase their productivity – Automation can remove small but vital bottlenecks in employees’ daily lives. It could automatically register attendance even if the employee forgets, and automated payroll makes sure that the wages are always in order and on time. You can even go the extra mile and offer taxation support using a smart automation tool. All of this leaves the employee free (and happy) to attend to value-adding work.
- Save and reuse the time spent on document-related tasks – Research suggests that 30% of employees waste half of their day on mundane, repetitive tasks, and a lot of this has to do with document management. Instead, companies can convert paper documents to digital, extract information using AI techniques like optical character recognition (OCR), and turn unstructured data into structured information. As a bonus, this also reduces carbon footprints.
- Accurately evaluate performance to reward the right people – More robust performance management equals motivated employees who will do better work. You can automate performance management workflows like feedback collection, scoring, and even incentive calculation to reward employees who deserve it. This is crucial for your work culture in the new normal workplace where “maintaining fairness” is a challenge for 13% of companies.
- Keep up with hybrid work expectations without compromising on output – Even as organizations return to the office, employees will want flexibility and expect WFH support. A US survey found that 96% of employees would prefer hybrid work over other models. However, this requires astute coordination and smart workflow management so that remote and onsite teams can collaborate without causing a dip in productivity. Workflow automation can establish those digital and standardized processes necessary to keep your engines running in any environment.
Ask Nexval About the Power of Workplace Automation in 2022
It’s likely that you have already started your digital transformation journey, and the next few months are all about consolidation, maturity, and growth. With more than a decade’s experience in mortgage services and IT processes, Nexval can help. Our 40 automation tools powered by AI/ML and RPA uniquely position us to lead transformation initiatives for the new normal in 2022.
Already, we have unlocked 80% person-hour savings for industry majors. And, through 2022, our future-proof solutions like NexAEI (a contactless visitor management platform) and NexGenTech (bespoke digital services for IT and mortgage) will further break new ground. We have successfully automated 90+ processes in mortgage services, and are equipped to nimbly adapt to tomorrow’s challenges and help our clients capitalize on the opportunities in the new year.
Talk to us to discover the next phase of your workplace optimization journey. Our Mortgage Tech Gurus are eager to hear from you.