- Data entry, the manual input of information into computers or other devices, is the world's most hated task, according to a survey of 10,000 office workers in 11 countries commissioned by robotic process automation company Automation Anywhere.
- The findings are consistent with changes in the finance and accounting organizations, where the repetitive input and reconciliation of data is increasingly being handled by software, freeing up time for staff to focus on data analyses and other high-value activities.
- Deloitte, in research it conducted last year, found that 77% of CFOs plan to retrain staff to use technology and redesign job functions to better use human skills. At the same time, CFOs plan to reduce staff. About 20% plan to reduce headcount and 17% are prepared to manage people, robots and AI working side by side.
In the Automation Anywhere survey, almost two-thirds (63%) of U.S. respondents say humans shouldn't be doing repetitive digital admin tasks at work if those tasks can be automated. Another 85% said they were open to automating administrative tasks that aren't core to their job.
Also in the survey, more than half (52%) of millennial respondents said fewer administrative tasks would increase their productivity.
For talent constrained businesses, workplace satisfaction is critical. If staff are unhappy with daily workloads, attrition levels can rise.
Worker's conflict with administrative work isn't constrained to data entry, according to the survey. Managing email traffic and filing digital documents in correct folders follow closely in the list of most-hated tasks.
In the survey, 73% of U.S. workers said they'd be happier at work if automation took non-core functions off their desks.
For context, vendors such as Automation Anywhere target tasks that are a fit for automation. The entire RPA market hopes to capitalize on the need for increased efficiency as the workforce warms up to automation.
Gartner projected the size of the RPA market at $1.3 billion in 2019. The market expanded 63% year-over-year in 2018, a growth spurt driven by increased interest in modernization from enterprise customers.
At French multinational Schneider Electric, an RPA strategy was able to automate the workload of up to 150 full-time equivalents in 2019. Three-quarters of leaders expect a boost in employee satisfaction once automation is part of the daily workflow, according to PwC.