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Employee retention increasingly important - automation may help

By Catherine Knowles
Fri 6 May 2022

According to a new study commissioned by UiPath, the majority of global office workers are feeling increased pressure at work due to colleagues resigning in the past year. As a result, 60% say they would consider resigning from their jobs in the next six months.

UiPath’s 2022 Office Worker Survey also found that monotonous tasks are amplifying employee unhappiness and uncertainty and that employees would welcome new processes and technologies such as automation to allow them to focus on work that matters.

The third annual UiPath survey of global office workers uncovered the impact that the Great Resignation is having on employees' roles and responsibilities, career trajectories, and overall experience.

The assessment found that:

The Great Resignation is an acute business challenge: Around the world, office workers feel increased pressure at work because their colleagues are quitting. Alarmingly, 84% of Australian respondents have taken on up to six new tasks outside of their job descriptions due to their coworkers resigning and 56% of respondents reported that they do not know what their responsibilities are anymore.

Labour shortages and mundane work are causing people to quit: 60% of respondents say they are interested in looking for a new job in the next six months. Locally, people are motivated to seek a new position because of increased pressure on work/life balance (36%), low compensation (31%) and too much time spent on administrative tasks (21%).

Expanding roles are compounded by monotonous tasks: 97% of Australian respondents say they feel exhausted at the end of a workday at least one day per week. They're frustrated by mundane tasks at work, like responding to emails (34%), inputting data/creating datasets (34%), and hosting and sitting in on meetings (33%).

Office workers believe automation is core to improving their job performance and satisfaction: Consistent with UiPath Office Worker Surveys in 2021 and 2020, employees feel like much of their workday is eaten up by tasks that can be automated (52% of Australians feel this way). In addition, Australian respondents believe that automation can improve their job performance, namely by saving time (61%), increasing productivity (52%), and creating opportunities to focus on more important work (45%). 67% agree they can focus on more creative work with the help of automation.

Automation can help fight the Great Resignation: 70% of Australian respondents contend that incorporating automation including training on automation could help their organisation attract new and retain existing talent. However, 46% said their organisation does not already offer automation or artificial intelligence tools.

UiPath senior vice president and managing director Rick Harshman says, "With closed borders, Australian businesses have been hamstrung by skill shortages across numerous industries. Workers worldwide are feeling the stress and strain of labour shortages in very personal ways, and without a shift toward more meaningful work, businesses will continue to face productivity and competitive pressures.

"While this issue is complex, technologies like automation can free workers time, enable a better work-life balance, and create vastly improved efficiencies that allow the business to be agile and responsive to customers. The world of work has changed, and retaining and attracting workers with emerging technology is a business imperative."

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