There’s a sense of comfort that comes with a good routine—knowing where to go and what to do can provide a sense of security and confidence. But how can you tell when your work routine is not doing you any favors? Maybe you notice you end up spending a hefty chunk of your time on tedious tasks, like forwarding emails or searching for information.
With the average office worker using over 35 job-critical software tools a day to get their work done, it’s no wonder it takes considerable effort just to stay organized. This is precisely why creating a home base for your team, centralizing all your work onto one platform, can do wonders for both your productivity and your peace of mind.
The benefits of workflow centralization
1. You waste less time searching for info
By setting up one primary place to track all of your work, you’ll know where to look for the information you need to get your tasks done. If you find yourself searching for a file through your email inbox, chat messages, Dropbox folders, and task management tool, this is a clear sign you can benefit from creating a central hub for your work.
Another sign that you can benefit from centralizing your workflow is that you find yourself switching across several platforms or tools just to get a single task done. Let’s say you’re preparing a report—you pull some data from your team’s spreadsheet, then you email your other colleague to pull info from her team’s dashboard, and when you’re done, you save the file in a shared Box folder and send the link to your team via Slack. Even just reading that sentence probably felt a little stressful, right?
Switching across platforms isn’t just time-consuming, it leaves room for distractions to creep in. In fact, the distractions that come with task switching can cost you up to 40 percent of your productivity.
2. You collaborate more efficiently with your team
Just like our data, the communication-based parts of our workflows are often scattered across multiple tools, forcing us to refer back to past chat messages and emails to get the info we need.
Email alone is one of the biggest culprits in this scenario—studies show that up to 75% of a company’s intellectual property is stored in email, limited to the few people copied on those messages. And time isn’t the only thing lost here—Panopto’s study found that a business of under 1,000 employees will lose about $2.4 million in productivity due to department-specific data silos that lead to insufficient knowledge sharing. It turns out having to wait on those emails from your colleagues to put together your report isn’t just a time-sucking nuisance, but it’s also losing your company quite a bit of money.
Sharing data and important contextual info about that data is a key part of many of our workflows, whether it’s passing something along for approval or handing it off to your colleague for their steps in the process. Much of this can be solved by having one highly visible and organized workspace to share files and information as well as conversations.
Your new workspace should also prioritize accessibility to all team members, so that it becomes the natural place for people to share knowledge. Whether it’s a customer insight, a trending topic, or a helpful tip, a shared workspace enables team members to share information more easily and efficiently. Files and past conversations won’t be hidden away in private email threads or chat messages, never to be seen again.
3. You reduce time spent on repetitive tasks like copy/paste
Using fewer tools to get your work done also means less time wasted sharing information across those tools. Did you know that the average office worker completes 134 copy-and-paste actions a day? View our infographic, “Are you using too many software tools?” to see more related stats. The reason this happens is that we often use multiple tools that don’t communicate with each other automatically (for example, when you need to copy data from an email someone sent you into a spreadsheet), which then results in manual effort to complete the task. Whether it’s manual data entry or moving info from one platform to another, these repetitive tasks take up valuable time and energy.
By centralizing your workflow onto one platform (for example a database platform that connects your various databases), you can port information from one to another automatically or with just a click of your mouse. If this centralized home for your workflow is accessible to your entire team, it also eliminates the need to forward information around.
If you can remove the need for even a few of those copy-and-paste actions or unnecessary email forwards a day, just think about how much that could save you and your entire team in the long run.
4. You spend less money on software
This one’s pretty obvious, but the fewer software tools you use, the more you save on software costs. The truth is you don’t need a different specialized software platform for every aspect of your job. Finding a multi-tasking tool that can do more than one thing and organize all your data, processes, and communication is the key to centralizing and streamlining your workflows.
Learn how one savvy business owner is able to save 90% on software subscription costs by using Kintone’s customizable, no-code platform.
Picking the right multi-tasking platform for your team is key—you’ll want a tool that you can really customize in detail so that it works for a wide array of team, department, and organizational needs. We’re a little biased of course, but we use Kintone for every department at our company. You can learn more about what you can build on Kintone in this article.
5. You have fewer passwords to keep track of
Fewer software tools to keep track of will also mean you have fewer pesky logins and passwords to manage, too. Remember that tool you only use once a quarter? Do you remember the password for it? Of course not.
Another common phenomenon when you’re using several specialized software platforms to do your job is a reliance on shadow IT, IT tools used by a company that aren’t vetted or officially approved by the IT department. Teams or departments end up relying on shadow IT to help fill in the gaps left behind by their other tools. Shadow IT comes with a higher risk of security and compliance complications because the tools aren’t properly vetted, which can lead to data breaches. Your IT team is unable to ensure the security of the software or services and can’t manage them effectively and run updates.
What to read next
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of a centralized workflow management system, are you ready to see what that looks like? Kintone’s centralized workflow platform lets you build databases and workflows customized just for your team. To see a real-life example of just how customizable it is, view our infographic featuring A-B Emblem to learn how they took a complex, custom order system and built it all in Kintone.