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Companies of All Sizes Can Benefit From Workflow Automation With the right tools and know-how, you can reduce wasted time spent manually completing repetitive processes and switching between different apps.

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Written by Cal Henderson, Co-Founder and CTO, Slack

In my years as a co-founder, I've witnessed a drastic evolution in the role technology has played in the workplace, with incredible innovations in how business leaders have increased their efficiency and empowered their teams to take control of their own productivity.

Automation is one such advancement, and I've seen businesses of all sizes—even in the face of budget constraints and limited resources—harness automation to do more with less, scale the seemingly unscalable, and engage their employees.

Whether you're a small family business, a growing startup or a large enterprise, achieving your true productivity and growth potential lies in your ability to scale automation so that everyone can use it, no matter an employee's role or technical expertise.

But let me take a step back. When I talk about automation, I don't mean learning a complicated tool or replacing the human-centered nature of work. Rather, I'm referring to reducing the wasted time spent manually completing repetitive processes and switching between different apps. I'm referring to building easy workflows that connect your everyday tools so you can get answers, requests, approvals and more with way less effort.

Let's take a look at how other companies—including winners of the Slack Spotlight Awards—are automating.

KAYAK taps into bots and workflows to increase productivity.

When savvy globetrotters need a flight, hotel or rental car, they know they can rely on KAYAK. And internally, the company relies on Slack to optimize processes with custom bots and the no-code tool Workflow Builder. For example, one bot polls employees every week to check in-office attendance, and another prompts teammates to send project status updates. This keeps things running smoothly internally and empowers teams from all departments to focus on the important work of getting people where they want to go.

KAYAK's automation mentality even extends to travelers: To simplify that final step before you go on vacation, the team built a neat OOO generator plug-in that generates a customized out-of-office message based on details you input up front.

Shipt triples the speed of support.

With its employees leveraging more than 200 integrations and more than 500 workflows, retail tech company Shipt won the 2023 Slack at Scale Award for supporting innovation and enabling real-time collaboration, all while keeping people at the forefront.

Using Workflow Builder in Slack, Shipt's IT department tripled the speed of internal support. Employees can seek assistance through an #ask-IT channel, where a bot walks them through how to submit questions or needs, or through an IT slash command, which summons a form. Shipt also has several integrated apps, like Zoom and Donut, to help team members stay connected—something that's even more important in this hybrid working landscape.

More than half of all Shipt employees sync their calendars with the Clockwise integration to automatically update their Slack statuses, and a quarter of all team members use it to preserve focus time on their calendars. Teams can immediately see if colleagues are busy, away from their desks, or free to chat.

A seamless way to unlock productivity for anyone who needs it.

I'm all about streamlining tasks: I order the same drink at the same time every morning and take the same route into work whenever I decide to come into the office. It simplifies things, and similarly, the beauty of automation in Slack is that it's really easy to use and even easier to implement—by anyone, in any department.

This is especially true for small businesses, where automations have the power to amplify any-size team's productivity with little up-front effort. Need onboarding help? Use GreetBot to shorten ramp-up time by automating welcome messages and reminders. Want to streamline how your teams receive requests? There's a workflow for that. Track incident reports in real time, keep tabs on employee sentiment as you scale, and more.

This kind of user-driven automation is a key lever as leaders strive to increase efficiency and productivity—and it will only get more powerful with the integration of generative AI, providing additional opportunities for businesses to innovate and scale processes. By making it intuitive for employees to automate work with user-friendly tools like Workflow Builder, we can empower people to take initiative and find solutions that complement our teams, evolving and fine-tuning them along the way. With automation up our sleeves, I'm confident there's no limit to what we can accomplish.

To get started with automation, visit