If your company is anything like stereotypical corporate America, your IT staff probably spends a lot of time performing routine maintenance on work computers. Perhaps an employee can’t figure out how to install software updates or get new browser plugins. Or worse, a computer has become infected with a virus that went unidentified for a while or the disk is so fragmented that the processing speed has slowed way down. Rather than manually performing mundane tasks, IT staff can automate several types of processes to make their job easier.

1. Update Software: This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many employees don’t bother to install software updates on their computers. Set this to happen automatically and make sure employees don’t just ignore the notifications to update software. One idea is to schedule updates for the end of a workday so employees can start the updates before they leave and set the computer to shut down when they’re done.

2. Clean Up and Defragment Disks: Deleting temporary files, clearing cookies and getting rid of other files you don’t actually need isn’t something you should have to do manually or have to remind employees to do. Especially if the workstation PCs are older, performing these tasks regularly keeps the machines running as smoothly as possible and frees up computing power for work tasks, not unnecessary storage or memory. Set the computers to run a cleanup and defragmentation regularly with a task automator to ensure nothing gets skipped.

3. Create Automatic Backups: One of an IT team’s worst nightmares is to have a computer failure when the data hasn’t been backed up. Although recovery is sometimes possible from a damaged hard disk, the easier solution is to have a backup of all of the data so it can be restored onto a new computer. Rather than relying on employees to create backups, automate the process of creating a backup at least once each week, or ideally, daily, to limit data loss.

4. Check Disks for Errors: Finding problems in the disk before they render the machine unusable can save the IT team from lots of headaches. Set a disk-checking program to run automatically and to notify IT staff if there are any errors that the PC can’t resolve on its own. Then you can start working on them now, or even set the employee up with a new workstation rather than discovering disk problems only after they’ve wreaked havoc.

5. Scan for Viruses: A virus that has made its way into one of the work computers can quickly travel to others if it’s an especially malicious one. Therefore, you want to automatically check for viruses and spyware regularly. Even if employees don’t think they’re making themselves vulnerable to any viruses, tricky ones can sneak through. It’s much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to viruses and confidential work information.

Running programs to automate just these five tasks will significantly reduce the amount of time your IT team spends on trivial issues. This frees up the team to work on innovating better ways to incorporate technology into the company and increase efficiency across the board.