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The Benefits of Work Automation
Tue Mar 01, 2022 | jean-francois roberge
When we hear talk of work automation it conjures images of robots zooming by and completing all tasks humans need. While it would be nice to say we’re close to having this great challenge made a reality, it’s not quite true. Real work automation is something else entirely. In fact, most people wouldn’t even consider these things as being work automation. Yet these processes have serious long-term benefits.
Unfortunately, introducing these new systems in the workplace can be stressful. You might face negative reactions if you’re the one implementing change, or you might feel resistant if it's imposed on you. This is a natural reaction, and it can be difficult to accept the changes if you don’t feel confident in the new integrated processes.
The best thing anyone can do in those situations is turn to a trusted source to learn more.
So, let’s break it down together.
How does work automation benefit employees?
Why are People Choosing Work Automation?
People nowadays aren’t altogether that different from their ancestors, and simple mechanical devices from the past are comparable to what we’re doing now with the invention of new computer software.
It’s all meant to help people work smarter.
There are advantages to work automation that are experienced at all tiers of employment. And the changes resulting from automation have a butterfly effect for generations to come. Consider work automations of the past. Many of these continue to benefit us today.
One way that automation has improved our lives most is by saving us time.
In 1900, the average workweek was approximately 70 hours (Encyclopedia Britannica, Automation). This has declined significantly, with the average workweek in Canada for 2021 being 37.5 hours (Statistics Canada, 2021).
Worker safety was also a main reason for early work automation.
This was especially prominent in factory settings, where automated systems meant removing workers from the workplace and safeguarding against hazardous working conditions (Encyclopedia Britannica, Automation). Rates of injury, fatality, and stress decreased as a result.
In today’s working environment one of the biggest focuses is on employees’ mental health.
In 2021 there was a “mass exodus of American workers,” with many referring to this as “The Great Resignation” (ProcessMaker, 2022). One of the biggest things employees are looking for in a job is a sense of purpose, which people felt they weren’t finding. This is calling a lot of attention to the problems in our modern workplaces.
And employees are making their own expectations abundantly clear:
- 70% of employees surveyed by McKinsey & Company say their “sense of purpose is defined by their work” (Mckinsey&Company, 2020).
- According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33 million Americans have left their jobs since spring, 2021 (FRED, 2022).
- A survey performed by Microsoft found that over 40% of the global workforce was considering leaving their employer in 2021 (Microsoft, 2021).
Employers have started to rethink the way they’ve structured their companies and are coming up with pragmatic solutions to make theirs a more desirable working environment. The overall happiness of employees is one of the main catalysts for these changes.
People are now giving preference to employers who offer hybrid, collaborative, and more engaging work.
Luckily, automation is helping!
The Benefits of Automation for Your Workplace:
New technologies have made work automation more advanced. We can now use computer software and network systems to cultivate a richer experience at work. Menial tasks are no longer at the forefront of an employee’s mind. Instead, these tasks can be delegated to systems rather than people.
The benefit of automating, as has been the case throughout history, is that it frees up time in the workplace. Things that employees would have toiled over for hours are now handed off to a system that can do it in seconds. These are tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, and can distract from larger projects.
Consider some of the following:
- New lead follow-up
- Meeting reminders
- Email updates
All these tasks require employees to set aside hours of their day to complete. Instead, there are systems that now do these for us.
Automation is ultimately benefiting employees by allowing them to focus on:
- Upgrading skills
- Participating in more engaging work
- Easing their workload
- And collaborating with coworkers
Collaboration is an especially advantageous result of automation that shouldn’t be overlooked. Working together helps individuals contribute more to their team and forge closer bonds with coworkers. Consider for a moment the previously stated statistic about “sense of purpose.” Then consider that people are more likely to feel satisfied, and to find said purpose in their work, if they’re able to come together as a group.
According to a report by Deloitte, employees collaborating:
- Are working 15% faster
- Are persisting up to 64% longer on challenging tasks
- Said they felt more interested, engrossed, and less fatigued
- Said they were more innovative
In this report, Deloitte found that collaboration decreased turnover rates and increased employee satisfaction. 58% of respondents said they were happier when collaborating (Deloitte).
We at XMA believe that implementing automation helps manage time-consuming tasks and gives employees the much-needed freedom to engage collaboratively on creative and skillful work.
A Connected Future
Work automation is all about finding the right solutions. That’s why XMA has several options for our customers to help make workplaces engaging environments, such as:
These easy-to-implement systems help alleviate some of the pressures employees experience. We’ve touched on this in our previous blog about repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. These changes are meant to improve your organizational growth, remove the tedium from daily tasks, and benefit you for years to come.
Accepting systems that automate work doesn’t mean that life as we know it will come crumbling down around us, but rather that we’ll be working towards a more connected future.
Contact us today to find out more about digitally transforming your workplace.