63 percent of office workers around the world believe that automation skills will be critical in their career development, according to a new survey by UiPath. These skills could be as simple as knowing how to automate tasks such as data entry, scheduling, or email management—some of the most time-consuming and repetitive tasks, based on the survey findings.
However, only 44 percent have received automation training within the last year, even though 40 percent said their employers have increased investment in automation software in 2021 and 25 percent said their employers had invested in automation for the first time—suggesting that even though the tools are available, workers have not been sufficiently prepared to make full use of them.
This finding matches other research which suggests that even though companies are investing or at least willing to consider investing in automation, they still struggle with actually implementing it. For example, one survey in Singapore found that even though employers recognise the benefits, 71 percent still feel they need to think harder about its application, and 41 percent do not believe their workforce has the skills to use it.
The UiPath survey found that Singapore had the second highest rate of companies scaling their automation software at 44 percent, with India seeing the highest rate at 51 percent.
On the bright side, office workers are ready and willing to learn the necessary skills if given the opportunity—if only so that they can make their own lives easier. 59 percent of office workers globally said that their efficiency is decreased by having to attend to routine, repetitive tasks, and out of those who received automation training, 91 percent said it had improved their job performance.
UiPath's survey also identified data entry or dataset creation as one of the tasks office workers most wish to automate. It is not the first time data entry has been fingered as an inefficient use of time, with other surveys in the US and India also identifying it as one of the most time-consuming tasks that workers would like to see automated.