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5 May 2022
Labor shortages and a lack of automation threaten many digital economies, study finds
Staff turnover has increased significantly since the Corona pandemic and is beginning to threaten the development of digital economies around the world. US economists now refer to the massive layoffs since the beginning of 2021 as "The Great Resignation". In other parts of the world, employers are also reporting staff shortages. A staggering 94% of employers expect these shortages to continue or get worse in the coming year. The majority of global office workers face increased workloads due to mass resignations of coworkers in the past year, according to a new study. 48 percent of workers worldwide are considering leaving their jobs in the next six months as a result.
Insecure and dissatisfied
According to the UiPath 2022 Office Worker Survey, office workers feel insecure and dissatisfied due to mind-numbing routine tasks. They would welcome new processes and technologies such as automation, which allows them to focus on more important work.
The company's third annual survey of office workers worldwide provides insight into how labor trends are impacting office workers' roles and responsibilities, their career plans, and their experience in general. The survey polled more than 5,000 office workers across the US, UK, France, Germany, India, Australia, and Singapore and was conducted in February 2022.
As a result of high turnover, organizations around the world face an acute problem: office workers everywhere are burdened by an increasing workload as colleagues leave. 83 percent of global respondents were forced to take on up to six new tasks outside their job description. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they no longer know exactly what they are responsible for.
Many people are resigning due to the staff shortage and the routine tasks, with 70 percent of all global respondents planning to look for a new job within the next few months, seriously hampering projects within their current organizations. Almost a third have already applied for a job. Worldwide, office workers feel forced to change jobs due to an insufficient work-life balance, administrative tasks that take up too much time, and insufficient training to acquire new skills or broaden existing ones.
Automation is key to producitivty
Globally, routine tasks such as responding to email messages (42 percent), scheduling meetings (35 percent), and entering/creating data sets (34 percent) cause frustration. Office workers have high expectations of automation as a means of improving their work performance and satisfaction. As with the 2021 and 2020 surveys, many office workers feel that much of their workday is spent on tasks that could be automated. This is true for 57 percent of all global respondents. Respondents often cited multiple ways such as saving time (52 percent), increasing productivity (46 percent), and creating opportunities to focus on more important tasks (45 percent).
Automation can reduce employee turnover as 73 percent of global respondents say automation, including associated training, could help their organization attract and retain talent. In Europe this was 60 percent. In the US, business decision makers are also excited: 85 percent of respondents in the study agreed that automation and automation training will enable their organization to retain staff and attract new talent.
Photo credit: Israel Andrade
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