A staggering 25 percent of the UK workforce is dedicating three to four hours of their working day to mundane tasks that could easily be automated, according to new research conducted by Kore.ai, a pioneering leader in the responsible application of Advanced AI.
The Employee Experience Benchmark Report 2023, based on a survey of 1,000 white-collar office workers from companies of varying sizes, unveiled that a significant majority of employees (77%) consider access to the right technology crucial to their job satisfaction, while 71 percent expressed the desire for challenging and stimulating work.
However, the research suggests that organisations are falling short of meeting these expectations.
In an unexpected twist, the study found that workplace technology is perceived more as a hindrance than a help. A striking 31 percent of employees rated the tools they use on a daily basis as either ‘average’ or ‘bad’ in terms of ease-of-use, streamlining, and simplifying their workload. T
his dissatisfaction spikes to 52 percent for finance-related tools and 47 percent for HR tools. Furthermore, an average of 10 percent dissatisfaction was noted across all tools among the 18–24 age group, signalling discontent among the future workforce with the technology they are compelled to use.
‘Microtaks’ can easily be performed by AI
The discontent stems from the burden of labour-intensive ‘microtasks’ that are ripe for automation. Half of the surveyed workers expressed the desire to automate the process of finding information or documents, followed closely by 49 percent for raising invoices or purchase orders, and 48 percent for tasks like raising an IT ticket or obtaining status updates.
Basic HR requests, such as holiday or pay inquiries, also ranked high, with 44 percent of employees wanting automation in this area.
Kore.ai CEO and Founder, Raj Koneru, commented on the findings, stating:
“From the survey, it’s clear that employees are crying out for advanced AI-powered experiences to be empowered to get tasks done quickly, efficiently, and accurately. Of the use cases we’ve implemented for our enterprise clients, about 42 percent focus on employee experiences, and companies have seen an average 30 percent productivity gain and higher satisfaction with AI-enabled IVAs assisting employees in day-to-day tasks.”
Looking ahead, the study highlights the potential for generative AI, when applied responsibly, to revolutionise workplaces. By 2030, a McKinsey Global Institute study predicts that generative AI combined with AI-powered tools could automate 30 percent of the hours worked today, providing employees with more time for productivity and creativity. As technology evolves, the demand for solutions that streamline workflows and enhance overall job satisfaction is likely to grow, making the responsible application of AI an essential focus for companies striving to meet the evolving needs of their workforce.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.