Almost 80% of global workers want a digital assistant to support them in everyday, mundane tasks. This and other surprising facts are revealed in Kryon’s 2021 Automation and the Future of Work Study, a global survey commissioned to explore shifting attitudes towards workplace automation.
Kryon’s new study shares the results of a survey of 300 workers for companies ranging in size from 1,000 employees to 10,000+ in the US, EMEA and APAC. Survey respondents work in various departments, including Accounting, Human Resources, Finance, Operations, and Payroll, as well as Customer Contact Centers.
The global study shows that almost 32% of office workers waste half a day or more on tasks better suited to bots, with that number rising to 34% in the UK. When asked what they would do with the time saved in their workday by automation, UK workers were very keen to take a much-needed lunch break, whereas respondents from other countries were more keen to go home early and spend time with friends and family.
“The UK market is fully embracing robots as part of the future of work post pandemic,” said Harel Tayeb, CEO of Kryon. “What was once a fear of the unknown has now transformed into a new productivity agenda, filled with new skills and opportunities. Workplace digital assistants will soon become the norm, as they are in homes, and outdated, unproductive tasks will be replaced by automation.”
Other global key findings include:
The “robots are coming to take our jobs” fear is a myth. Increased awareness of the benefits of workplace automation has negated much of the fear surrounding robots replacing humans. Employees now recognize the value of automating workflows as a support function that allows them to focus on more fulfilling and valuable tasks throughout the day. In fact, 46% look forward to saving time on repetitive tasks, while 39% see increased productivity as a primary advantage.
The ideal future workplace includes a lot more automation. While reporting and data entry are the most popular workflows to automate (64%), employees are hungry for more. 72% want to automate job-specific tasks, while 55% said they’d like notification when a process can be automated. Nearly half of employees want more digital training and self-guided learning opportunities.
Employees don’t just want automation at work. They want it at home, too. Attitudes towards automation have shifted so significantly that employees are ready to automate their home lives. Routine maintenance and cleaning were people’s top two automation wishes, although 21% said they’d like to automate working out.
Other UK highlights from the survey include:
- 34% of UK workers estimate that over 50% of the day is tied up doing unproductive tasks
- More people in the UK want a real lunch break if they had an hour extra in their day
- In their personal lives, UK workers would prefer robots to take over laundry duties
- Attitudes towards robots are changing with 78% of UK respondents believing they help people do jobs better, compared to 70% of German respondents
- There’s less concern in the UK that AI could get too powerful compared to respondents in the US and Germany who are more reserved
Read the report online