Why office automation is about giving jobs back (not taking them away)

"The robots are coming." We hear it on the news, where employees in manufacturing and healthcare environments fear technology is replacing them. You hear it from office employees, too, who sometimes fear that software designed to make their jobs easier is really designed to make them obsolete. Learn how tools like Power PDF are empowering employees and what you can do to help them embrace the benefits of change.

“The robots are taking our jobs.”

This is a growing sentiment among Americans in such industries as automotive, manufacturing and even healthcare. Now the concern is creeping into office environments where automation software is transforming processes in the workplace. To many, simplifying processes and automating workflows means fewer resources are needed. But in most cases, what it really means is a more effective workforce focused on the right things.

Document workflow tools like Nuance’s Power PDF™ Advanced are a great example of office automation solutions that represent good news for employees, businesses and their customers. Let’s examine how these tools benefit the average worker and improve daily work life.


More accuracy, less reproducing

Working between PDFs and other applications can be challenging and time consuming, as employees must be methodical in order to ensure there are no errors in translating data. Automation tools like Power PDF eliminate the time often spent re-creating or error-checking documents in Word or Excel by faithfully reproducing columns, tables and graphics when they are converted over from a PDF file.

Additionally, built-in proofreading enables employees to easily identify and correct text results, along with collaborative document review tools to improve efficiency among teams. Reducing human error gives employees more confidence in their work.


Intuitive solutions, improved results

Many employees fear office automation because what they really fear in large part is change. On one hand, the greatest impediment to efficiency is the status quo (“Well, we’ve always done things this way”). On the other hand, the greatest obstacle to change is employees resisting adoption.

PDF solutions address this by emphasizing what we view as the keys to user adoption: an intuitive interface, flexible workflow and incorporating technology that employees are already comfortable with and use as part of their daily routine.

For example, we’ve modeled the interface to reflect the Microsoft Office user experience and included easy-access toolbars as shortcuts to frequently used features. Power PDF integrates with most existing workflow platforms and devices, such as multi-function printers, so that employees do not have to re-learn new technology. And Power PDF supports touch-enabled devices, providing employees with a familiar mobile app experience driven by devices they already use today, every day.


Productivity gets the job done

Perhaps most importantly, office automation isn’t about reducing employee resources — it’s about making your existing workforce more efficient so they can focus on the jobs they were hired to do.

For example, if you are a lawyer, you didn’t go to school dreaming about manually searching offline archives for legal documents or manually editing client time sheets. You and your firm share the same goal, which is the idea of performing high quality work on behalf of your clients. The same is true in healthcare where professionals should be focused on patient well-being, not protecting personally identifiable information (PII) or protected healthcare information (PHI) that can be better managed in a secure and seamless electronic workflow.

In office environments, Power PDF makes it easy for employees to convert any file type to PDF, merge multiple PDFs, and convert any PDF file to a common Microsoft Office or RTF format. Applying watermarks and stamps, searching and redacting documents, scanning multiple contracts at once all save valuable time and effort. Employees can spend less time on document creation and management, and more time focused on the jobs that drive business.

The more employees understand the benefits of office automation, the more likely they are to embrace it. Take the time to educate employees on the reasons for new software and technology, even things that may seem innocuous on the surface. Change management is the most critical step in adopting new processes, yet it is the step most often overlooked.

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Michael Vincent

About Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for Nuance Document Imaging's Power PDF and OmniPage OCR products. As the product expert, his goal is to articulate to customers how the capabilities of these products can solve their business problems, while keeping a close eye on the market to ensure Nuance’s products continue to be positioned for success. Before joining Nuance, Michael held various marketing and product management positions with Lexmark and was also a software developer and consultant early in his career. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Management Science from Georgia Tech and an MBA in Marketing and Leadership from Emory University. He grew up an “Army brat” in Germany, and enjoys traveling, a good EPL or Bundesliga soccer match, and coaching his four sons in a variety of sports and other extracurricular activities.