Automation Anywhere, a leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), today revealed findings on the Most Hated Office Tasks, from its latest global study. In a nation that prides itself with unparalleled efficiency and productivity, it does not come as a surprise that Singapore workers’ most hated tasks are those that they felt were not relevant to performing their main role, specifically, admin.
The research found that more than half of the respondents found digital administration boring (56 percent) and say that it gets in the way of them doing their main job (72 percent) and reduces their overall productivity (81 percent). It also found that the most hated task among employees here is filing digital documents into the correct folders, while general data entry is at the very top of the hated task heap globally.
“Workers in Singapore find that computer administration tasks eat into their workday and many are frustrated by the long hours required. The research found that they hope that technology at their workplaces relied less on their inputs and could run more autonomously,” explained Adrian Jones, Executive Vice-President, Asia Pacific & Japan, Automation Anywhere.
The research conducted by OnePoll, which surveyed more than 10,000 office workers across a dozen countries, including the United States, Australia, Singapore, India, and Korea, investigated the time spent on and attitudes towards repetitive digital administration tasks in the modern enterprise.
Uncovering Singapore workers’ Most Hated Tasks
Based on the survey, 98.6 percent of workers in Singapore spend time carrying out administrative tasks daily, and on average spend between three to five hours a day working on them. Topping the list of their most hated office tasks, respondents called out filing digital documents – such as documents, spreadsheets, images, or PDFs – into the correct digital folder. These tasks were followed closely by data entry – inputting data into a computer or other devices and managing email traffic. These were also found to be the top three administrative tasks workers globally spend the most time on every day.
“With the high premium that Singapore places on efficiency and the push over the years toward becoming a SmartNation, workers here want to see this become a reality in their daily work as well. The frustration and dislike for admin tasks come in because this mismatch is evident – they spend time on manual tasks which are not value-adding to the work they do,” continued Jones.
Apart from revealing the preferences of workers, the most hated tasks of workers in Singapore were also found to impact employee happiness beyond the office – slightly more than half (65 percent) surveyed said that digital administrative tasks often prevent them from leaving the office, affecting their work-life balance. The research also found that this is a bigger problem for male workers, as 54 percent of men struggle to leave work on time, compared to 43 percent of female workers. This is especially prevalent in Singapore and the UK.
Singapore workers welcome automation and wish to see more of it in their workplaces
Contrary to common perceptions that workers fear automation and its effects in the workplace, most Singapore workers surveyed believe that automation should eliminate manual, repetitive digital office tasks that are not core to their job (79 percent). Almost all respondents anticipate that they’d be happier with the change (97 percent), and with the freed-up time, they also agree that they will be able to be more productive (93 percent) and use more of their skills and talents at work (99 percent).
In fact, the overwhelming majority (95 percent) of Singapore workers would like their employers to automate more manual repetitive business processes. Further, more than half (72 percent) said they would consider leaving a job if this manual administrative load became too high, while 74 percent would be attracted to work at a company that invested in automation to reduce repetitive administration tasks.
Jones attributes this to workers here having a grasp of the benefits of working in a tech-enabled environment, and industry and public sector initiatives that provide widespread exposure to smart technologies. “As Singapore strives toward being a Digital-first SmartNation, most workers here are keen on working alongside software bots in the workplace and having them work on administrative tasks, freeing them to take more creative and meaningful work. What is heartening is, such solutions are readily available today for workers. Currently, more than 700 bots are available in the Automation Anywhere Bot Store that address many of the survey’s most hated tasks and reduce the amount of time organizations spend on them.”
“Productivity is the overarching concern of today’s worker, and understandably so, given the cultural and social imperatives to strive for excellence and efficiency in Singapore. The findings of our research can be summed up with a recommendation for meaningful automation through the introduction of an intelligent digital workforce, virtual employees that are readily deployed to complete business functions from start to finish, enabling workers to use their ingenuity and creative value to the fore. We look forward to partnering with more businesses here in the new year as they implement digital workforce strategies for a maximized workplace experience,” Jones continued.