As if we needed telling … more than seven in ten of us say we are constantly doing the same tasks at work over and over again.
But according to a new survey of office staff which puts a little meat on the bone, on average, respondents estimated that they spent four and a half hours a week on tasks they think could be automated.
And 61 per cent said they wish they had more time to explore how to incorporate new responsibilities into their day-to-day routines; and 53 per cent believe their jobs don’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
The survey was conducted by the automation software specialists UiPath which assessed the views of those working from home about how their roles have changed over the past year and how they see their roles evolving in the future.
One key finding was that, faced with too many time-consuming tasks, more than half of office believe they can’t efficiently help customers. When asked the top tasks they would like to automate, they said:
• Emails 42%
• Inputting data/creating datasets 54%
• Scheduling calls and meetings 46%
“It’s no surprise that employees are looking for ways to feel more engaged at work. Automation unlocks workers’ productivity, and, more importantly, frees them to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative, and strategic,” said Tom Clancy, Senior Vice President of Learning.
“It’s critical that companies provide training for and access to automation and other digital technologies to create more fulfilled and energised employees.”
On a positive note, 39 per cent reported that their companies scaled investment in automation software over the past year, and a further 16 per cent said their business invested in automation software for the first time.
And 73 per cent indicated they had learned new skills while working from home and 47 per cent reported that their skillsets had improved. Sixty six percent actually said they felt more confident in their ability to do their jobs today than they did at the beginning of the pandemic.
All of which appears to have hardened employees’ belief that companies should offer more training on digital technologies.
The survey found that training benefits employee retention — 83 per cent believe that, when employers commit to improving technology skills, the company as a whole improves, and 74 per cent said they’d be more willing to continue working at a company that offers them training opportunities to learn new skills or further enhance their current skills.
Over half said they have taken a class or taught themselves a new skill in their personal time to use at their jobs.
Automation to scale up