Nearly 60 per cent employees believe that automation holds promise in combating burnout and enhancing job fulfillment, and 57 per cent report that they view employers that use business automation to help support employees and modernise operations more favourably than those that do not.
These are the findings of a global survey by UiPath, an enterprise automation software company.
The survey found that employees are being asked to do more work with less support, with over a quarter (28 per cent) of all global respondents being asked to take on more tasks at work in the past six months because of layoffs or hiring freezes.
As work pile-up takes a toll on employees—more than one in four workers (29 per cent) around the world report feelings of burnout—more staffers are leaning on AI tools to provide relief, giving rise to the automation generation.
The concept of the automation generation transcends age or demographic boundaries, encompassing professionals who eagerly adopt AI and automation to foster collaboration, unleash creativity, and enhance productivity. This generation of workers seeks to leverage these technologies to enrich both their work and personal lives and prevent them from feeling like robots themselves.
Thirty-one percent of all respondents are already using business automation solutions at work. Of these workers comprising the automation generation, 87 per cent feel like they have the resources and support needed to do their job effectively and 83 per cent believe business automation solutions can help address burnout and enhance job satisfaction.
Automation tools revolutionise job dynamics
In the survey of 6,400 workers worldwide, respondents expressed their desire for increased flexibility in their work environment (34 per cent), more time for skill development (32 per cent), and dedicated periods during the workday for critical task focus (27 per cent) as key benefits that automation tools could provide.
Automation and AI-powered tools
A growing number of workers worldwide are seeking automation and AI-powered solutions to alleviate mundane, repetitive tasks. Nearly 58 per cent of respondents acknowledged that automation has the potential to address burnout and enhance job fulfillment. Among the tasks they most desired automation to assist with were data analysis (52 per cent), data input and dataset creation (50 per cent), resolving IT/technical issues (49 per cent), and running reports (48 per cent).
Generational perspectives on AI-powered automation
Younger employees are more receptive to the potential of AI-powered automation in helping them at work. The survey reveals that a significant majority of Generation Z (69 per cent), millennials (63 per cent), and Generation X (51 per cent) believe that AI-powered automation would enhance their job performance. However, only 44 per cent of Baby Boomer respondents share a similar viewpoint, suggesting a generational divergence in perceptions towards automation's efficacy in the workplace.
Brigette McInnis-Day, Chief People Officer at UiPath emphasises that disruption in the workplace and macroeconomic factors often place a burden on employees to accomplish more with limited resources. However, McInnis-Day asserts that it doesn't have to be this way.
“The employees of automation generation are embracing AI-powered automation so they can better manage their workloads, excel in their careers, and improve their work-life balance. Businesses that deploy AI in an open, flexible, and enterprise ready way are best positioned to attract and retain the types of employees that will help them thrive in an automation-first world. Automation is a key differentiator for companies to attract and retain by empowering employees and driving engagement,” she adds.
UiPath, in collaboration with Researchscape, conducted the research via an online survey in March 2023, gathering responses from 6,460 participants. The survey data was weighted to ensure representation based on each country's GDP, with the United States accounting for 55 percent of the sample. Other participating countries included Japan (10 per cent), Germany (9 per cent), India (8 per cent), United Kingdom (7 per cent), France (6 per cent), Australia (4 per cent), and Singapore (2 per cent).