Knowledge workers face increasing pressures to perform their jobs in the digital age. First, as the pace of change accelerates, the capacity to absorb new information grows more strained.
To stay relevant in the marketplace, professionals need to understand the developments and trends shaping their domains.
Secondly, new regulations come into force on a continuous basis and keep piling up on top of all the existing baggage. Sometimes, following all the rules may feel like a layered maze, where every turn must be evaluated against the context of that transaction, industry, and time period.
So how can anyone be successful in that reality? Can’t information technology relieve some of these pressures? It turns out, it can.
Adding guardrails to reduce cognitive load
Workflow automation tools help guide daily work by adding “guardrails” that prevent employees from moving off the path outlined by company policies and external regulations. This increases the feeling of safety and control since knowledge workers can focus on the content of their work instead of the process.
For example, accountants help clients interpret laws and regulations—as such, their advice must be accurate. Some of the work is usually executed by less experienced employees and reviewed by senior advisors. Providing guardrails, especially for the junior personnel, helps ensure consistent and high-quality services.
Leveraging automation to eliminate human errors
Workflow automation can also help eliminate human errors originating from manual data processing. For example, creating a proposal might include many details that could be automatically filled in the IT system, such as company and contact names. Similarly, the structure of the proposal and latest commercial terms could self-generate automatically from a template maintained by the legal department.
Consider management consultants, who often work against strict deadlines and might need to deliver high-quality results within a high-pressure deadline. That means publishing workflow must always have the correct, clean, and approved document version instantly available by all appropriate parties, and it must have the ability to automatically provide the final deliverable to your client.
Reaching full potential
Since knowledge work is all about learning and processing new information, as well as drawing insights and applying knowledge within client context, the ability to automate mundane tasks and reduce unnecessary mental overhead helps individuals and companies reach their full potential. Once more, the role of technology becomes all about removing obstacles and letting people do what they do best.