Employees spend 40% of their time doing menial, routine tasks that have no impact on their main job goals, according to a ServiceNow report released on Thursday. These tedious tasks both negatively affect company productivity and leave employees frustrated, the report found.
The report surveyed more than 2,000 workers to determine how often they need to complete mundane tasks related to IT and HR, and their feelings about doing so—which were overwhelmingly negative. For example, some 45% of respondents said they would rather clean their bathroom than figure out HR benefits, according to the report.
SEE: Machine automation policy guidelines (Tech Pro Research)
These negative sentiments go even further: 37% of workers said they would rather be stuck in traffic than troubleshoot a broken printer on their own, the report found. Additionally, 36% said they would rather stand in line at the DMV than troubleshoot an IT issue, and 30% said they would rather take a call from a telemarketer than set up a new company computer.
The results uncover the importance of forging positive employee experiences, especially with more routine work tasks, the report noted. When forced to do menial tasks manually, employees felt like they were being kept from completing more meaningful, value-adding work, according to the report.
Companies can help reduce this frustration by either automating manual tasks, or finding a more efficient process in completing them, the report recommended. Many companies are already relying on automation and collaborative robots to help eliminate manual, everyday tasks; it's just a matter of investing in the technology.
"Employees today want to know that they are realizing their full potential at work, and companies need employees to be their best. Creating digital workflows that make routine work easier, simpler and faster frees up people to focus on the more challenging, essential and fulfilling aspects of their jobs," said Pat Wadors, CTO at ServiceNow, in a press release. "That's how value is created. Great experiences unlock productivity, for people and companies."
For more tips on how to automate your business, check out this TechRepublic article.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Employees spend 40% of their time completing mundane tasks that don't add any value to their main business goals. — ServiceNow, 2018
- Companies can help streamline these tasks, and lower employee frustration, by creating digital workflows. — ServiceNow, 2018
- The impact of machine learning on IT and your career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Robotic process automation software spend set to hit $680m this year (ZDNet)
- AWS RoboMaker: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Automation will become central to business strategy and operations (ZDNet)
- What is robotic process automation and why does it matter to your business? (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.