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Here are 5 reasons why NOT to use automation

Even though automation saves time and streamlines processes, it cannot fully optimise your workflows in some cases when other approaches are needed

We’ve all been there: tens of tasks to be completed each day, hundreds of workflows to be handled simultaneously and different tools to be managed at a time. To ease the work overload and improve efficiency, we tend to turn to automation as a remedy as we want to streamline our processes and let the technology do the work. But what if automation cannot be seen as an ultimate solution to give your company the desired leap of productivity?

Well, here are 5 reasons why automation is a NO-GO for your company

1. You want to continue doing a lot of work manually

Old-school ways of handling everyday tasks provide all of us with enough familiarity and confidence in our performance, since we are closely familiar with the process. We do have more knowledge on how to address issues manually and we obtain a greater degree of control over our missions completing them ourselves.

2. Repetitive tasks are your favorite ones

Predictable, clear and with easily foreseeable results, repetitive tasks can put us into a state of flow or concentration with little cognitive effort. In the fast changing world with tons of information, we can use repetitive tasks to disconnect from the work environment and create the right blank space for reflection and creativity (hopefully to meet other working purposes).

3. You want to spend a big amount of time on your tasks

If perfectionism is your credo, you will definitely want to keep improving the results until the highest standard is met. The attention to details can also become a big part of ensuring the satisfaction of both yourself and the client with almost perfect outcomes. Besides, if you really enjoy the work - why not extend the fun?

4. You want to rely on feeling and not on real data for decision making

As an experienced professional in your work field, you may find your intuition more useful in situations where fast decision-making is required. Some patterns may not be even obvious from the available data, so the years of gained wisdom can become really handy allowing to adapt more quickly to changing circumstances and unexpected challenges.

5. Productivity is not your major concern

Faster, higher, stronger - is this really the business model we wanted to settle for? Keeping the main focus on productivity can lead to a narrow view of success that ignores other crucial factors like employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and social responsibility. By prioritizing those aspects too, we may see long-term benefits in terms of employee retention, brand reputation, and customer loyalty, even if short-term productivity may not be as high. Money (and productivity) cannot buy you happiness - well said it is!

All right, let's be a little more serious! Granted, in most of the examples given, we will still use automation to maximize our earnings, and contribute to the company's progress. To eliminate repetitive tasks, save time, and free up team resources for more important decisions, automation will really do the trick. However there are actually some other circumstances where automation is not the magic pill that will solve most of your company's problems.

Here are 5 more (* realistic) cases when NOT to use automation

1. Creativity is at the forefront

Automated processes are designed to follow a pre-set path and may not have the flexibility to handle unexpected or creative inputs. Moreover, even AI-systems like ChatGPT are designed to stick to predetermined rules and logic and they lack the ability to generate truly original ideas. So contextual understanding and adaptability cannot be replicated by any automation tools.

2. Your workflows are too complex

Unexpected challenges, non-standard inputs or even quick interferences from the employees are not handled well by automation. In complex situations, which require judgment, analysis, and problem-solving skills, it is rather the successful combination of automation and collaboration techniques that will work out enabling involvement of the team and the managers at an appropriate point in the process.

3. Profound expertise wanted

While automation can assist and enhance people’s capabilities, it cannot entirely replace workers with deep expertise in their subject. For instance, even if the automation system or AI chatbots trained on language models can provide us with the set of data, they are still unable to draw conclusions and make decisions based on this information and these are the highly qualified professionals who will perform those tasks with nuances in consideration.

4. Human connection is more valuable

We won't doubt that for example sending your client a pdf-file with descriptions of your product or service can be easily automated. However, making even a short 20 minute video call can give your customer a sense of a personalized connection and a deeper analysis of their problems, and therefore better satisfy their needs (well, and ego sometimes, too). It also doesn’t necessarily mean that the automation cannot be used in this case, but rather that it is applicable for behind-the-curtain processes like call-arrangement or follow-ups leaving the biggest value for a person-to-person interaction.

5. Lack of collaboration clarity in team

Automation tools are only as effective as the people who use them. When the team does not understand what type of collaboration is most effective for them and how to unite into a single entity employees with different perceptions and personality types, then great progress cannot be expected. That means that if team members speak "different languages" with each other (or don’t even speak at all), important information can be lost or misinterpreted and automation is basically useless.

So, on the whole is that automation can only be an effective solution if it is one of several areas of improvement in relation to your business processes. If you don't maintain streamlined processes or your team can't cooperate effectively, then automation should be delayed until these issues are resolved.

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