How Defined Workflows Boost Creativity

Automated workflows

A common misconception about the business world is that routine squashes creativity. While routine and bureaucracy can certainly be excessive to the point that people are too tired or disheartened to be creative, routine can actually work to promote creativity.

One of the most prolific fiction writers of the 20th and early 21st centuries, J.G. Ballard, was known for having a routine – some would say dull – home life. Raising children after the death of his wife, Ballard found that having a “workflow” if you will, for getting the children situated, then working while they were in school, freed him up in a way that a more freewheeling lifestyle may not have. Is it possible that defined, automated workflows could free your team up to be more creative as well? Absolutely.

Repeatable Processes for the Start-Up Entrepreneur

Anyone who has started a business – and particularly a creative business – knows that many of the processes required to succeed in business don’t wait around for creativity or productivity to strike. Bills must be paid, customers must be invoiced, and taxes must be withheld. And while creativity isn’t always capable of being turned on like a water tap, having the non-creative business processes organized into automated workflows ensures the required, everyday stuff gets done, so that when creativity does strike, more time is available to make use of it.

Entrepreneurs don’t have to start big, either. Simply having online forms so customers can submit queries or payment information can make a difference. As a business moves forward, it becomes easier to identify processes that are repeatable and well-suited to automation.

Which Processes Are Best Suited to Automated Workflows?

Some of the most common workflows that are automated using workflow software include:

  • New employee onboarding
  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivable
  • Accounts payable
  • Employee requests for paid time off

One of the greatest benefits of automating work processes such as these is that the automation process itself becomes a way of documenting processes from end to end. This can be tremendously helpful if the business is ever audited. For example, online forms for recording new software licenses, date of effectiveness, and date of expiration can make a software license audit significantly less stressful than it would be otherwise. And when those online forms trigger automated notifications about licenses that are about to expire, it’s easy to avoid such problems altogether.

Automated workflows

Keeping business processes on track offers peace of mind for dealing with stressors like audits.

Repeatable Processes Liberate Time and Mental Bandwidth

Repeatable work processes give employees the peace of mind of knowing that the nuts and bolts aspects of business are taken care of so that they can focus energy on what they do best, whether that is repairing equipment, providing spa services, or designing shoes. For the company that is made up primarily of creative professionals, automated workflows can create a strong foundation that ensures necessary business processes take place on time and with great accuracy, so there is more time and mental space available for creative undertakings. In other words, predictability is not the enemy of creativity, but can, in fact, cultivate it by allowing greater creative focus.

Workflow software may not be a top priority of the person starting up a creative agency, but perhaps it should be. The right workflow software not only facilitates easy creation of online forms (helping eliminate paper altogether) but also helps in the creation of customized automated workflows that keep the non-creative aspects of business flowing predictably.

PerfectForms is online form and workflow software that makes it easy for non-technical users to create fully customized forms and workflows to meet a company’s particular needs. It can be used for an almost endless variety of tasks, from creation of IT help request forms to design and implementation of complex workflows, like those necessary for publishing books.

Often, companies try PerfectForms for one task, like making online forms for new employee onboarding, and quickly realize that it can be used to digitize and automate workflows throughout the business. Why not try PerfectForms for yourself – sign up for a free trial today. Don’t let the routine necessities of running a business take up valuable creative time and energy.

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