78% of UK office workers are confident their jobs will survive automation, according to new independent research* undertaken for leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath.
The research, exploring the attitudes of 1,000 office employees to automation, revealed that nearly half (49%) do not see how their administrative duties can be undertaken by a software robot.
Kulpreet Singh, Managing Director EMEA, UiPath, said:
RPA is one of the most far-reaching revolutions in the UK workplace. Office employees may be in for a pleasant surprise as the burden of boring and routine tasks moves to being performed by software robots instead. They will need to adjust to having a greater amount of time for more valuable work.
Despite being confident about automation, only a third of male office workers (33%) and 22% of female office workers believe the technology will increase their productivity, even though more than six-in-ten across both sexes (61%) spend in excess of 30% of their time on repetitive, routine tasks that are set to be automated.
Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE, President of TechUK, said:
The fourth industrial revolution will create relentless waves of change as we embrace machine learning and robotics. This is not going away and the only thing we can change is our response. Our job will be to figure out how we respond to these changes and to pivot our skills in an ‘evergreen' way throughout our careers. What I love about the UiPath approach is their commitment to the democratisation of learning which will undoubtedly make the difference to our ability to lifelong learning, inclusion and our connected future.
The research found that 37% of respondents will devote more time to new strategic projects once they are freed from repetitive work by RPA, while 36% will seek to develop new skills.
Almost a quarter (24%) will spend more time on collaborating with colleagues, and more than a fifth (22%) on interactions with customers.
Kulpreet Singh added:
It’s encouraging to see that when office staff understand how RPA can free them from drudgery, they already see more profitable uses for their time. It is imperative that organisations prepare their employees for the automation revolution.
The research found that women and younger workers bear the brunt of administrative and repetitive tasks. 64% of female workers spend more than 30% of their time on administrative tasks, while half of those aged 18-24 devote more than half their time on repetitive aspects of their jobs.
Less than a quarter of UK employees (24%) believe automation will have a bad effect on the UK economy.
Please find the full report available for download here.
*Survey of 1000 UK office workers conducted in August 2018
UiPath is leading the “Automation First” era – championing one robot for every person, delivering free and open training and collaboration and enabling robots to learn new skills through AI and machine learning. Led by a commitment to bring digital era skills to more than a million people, the company’s enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform has already automated millions of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks for business and government organizations all over the world, improving productivity, customer experience and employee job satisfaction.
Recently named the 6th happiest place to work by Comparably in the US, UiPath has become one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies in history. The company is backed by over $400 million in funding from Accel, CapitalG, Credo Ventures, Earlybird’s Digital East Fund, Kleiner Perkins, Seedcamp and Sequoia.