Office workers seek greater workplace automation
12 June 2020 | 0
Almost half (47%) of Irish office workers would change jobs for a company embracing automation more. This comes from research carried out by Censuswide on behalf of OpenSky.
The research – which involved 1,000 people across Ireland, 500 of which were office workers, found that 62% would like to see their organisation embrace more automation. The highest demand for automation was found among workers in Dublin, Carlow, and Cork.
Some 35% of respondents think automation will help people to do their jobs more effectively. The main benefits of automation were cited by respondents as the ability to minimise boring tasks; to help during situations such as the current coronavirus pandemic; and to enable information to be processed faster.
Almost a third (32%) of office workers believe automation would reduce the pressure placed on the human workforce, while 26% think it would lead to the possibility of a four-day work week. The study also revealed that a significant frustration among respondents was spending too long in work.
Moreover, 71% said that further automation of business processes would be of strategic benefit to their organisation. Indeed, 47% of those respondents said it would reduce operational costs, while 42% think it would streamline processes.
When asked about artificial intelligence and robotics, 19% of office workers admitted they would be worried about such technologies listening to and watching them in the workplace. Some 22% think robots will be involved in workplace decisions within the next 20 years, while 14% believe they will have employee rights by this time.
“Even though workplace operations were transforming before the pandemic,” said William Flanagan, technology & commercial director, OpenSky, “the current situation has highlighted, more than ever, how vital technology is in terms of supporting businesses to remain competitive and secure long-term continuity during a crisis.
“Irish businesses really need to consider investing in technologies that increase productivity levels, reduce costs and enhance customer service levels, enabling them to achieve competitive advantage. The businesses that invest in the tools to uphold competitiveness are the ones that will survive in the long term – the ones that don’t are more likely to see catastrophic implications, as so many have unfortunately seen recently.”
Flanagan added that businesses must meet “the growing demand among employees to work smarter, not longer. If organisations fail to implement innovative solutions, like robotic process automation, which enable valuable staff to work on what they are trained to do rather than spend excessive amounts of time on mundane and monotonous administrative tasks, their employees’ job satisfaction and workload is affected. It also impacts staff retention as employees will simply leave to work for organisations that support more automation.
“Automation is designed to benefit people – not replace them. And while the role of emerging technologies, including AI and robotics, will continue to increase in the world of work over the next few years, the most effective strategy is technology and people working together to be innovative and drive growth.”