Before we get started- we know there are hundreds of thousands of potential problems with the modern workplace, and what’s on your list will very much depend on what industry you work in. For example, if you work in HR, then this list would be all about issues of sexism, racism, office politics and general interpersonal problems rife in some workplaces. If you were in law, you might talk about all of the different employment laws that may be being breached, and what the new changes could bring.
But we are a technology company, so we’re going to talk about problems that technology can solve. And from our point of view, there are 3 key problems that the modern workplace has, that are holding us back from achieving higher growth, productivity and happiness in our daily lives.
Waste Of Time: Did you know that Brits have some of the lowest productivity rates in Europe? It’s been slowly going down since the financial crisis, to the point that are now near the bottom of the G7 league table when it comes to productivity. In fact, according to the Office of National Statistics, on average, a British worker produced 16% less than other members of the G7 lagging significantly behind other large economies like the US, France and Germany. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, the UK once held the top spot for productivity in the G7, only losing it in 1961. Now, a typical Brit will spend 42 hours a week working, yet produce 16% less than their counterpart in France, Germany or America, simply because we are still working in highly inefficient ways. Using human employees to do manual, repetitive tasks and wasting a huge amount of time, resources and energy doing it.
Waste Of Resources: Human beings are truly unique in several ways, but one of the greatest skills of the human brain is the ability to think creatively. To think differently, to solve problems in new ways and create amazing, exciting things from absolutely nothing. So why are we wasting such a valuable resource on manual, repetitive work that isn’t creative in the slightest? Studies show that the average UK worker spends at least a quarter of their work week on repetitive tasks that kill productivity and creativity. In fact, nearly 60% of workers have estimated that they could save six or more hours every week if the more routine and monotonous elements of their jobs were automated. That’s 288 hours a year that could be reclaimed by the workforce, to produce higher quality output, or even to give them more time away from work to actively enjoy their lives.
Waste Of Employees: Businesses who rely on human beings to do everything will quickly find that they aren’t as efficient or as well run as they would like to be. Human beings are error prone, often inconsistent creatures with wavering attention spans that can be affected by anything from how much sleep they had that night to the weather. That all makes us pretty bad at things that require a regular, repetitive and concise approach. Businesses who still use employees to do routine data entry, analysis, sorting through data archives or other repetitive and mundane tasks will find their accuracy will never reach 100%, no matter how hard they try. Doing repetitive and mindless work every day is also bad for employee morale, and employing those skilled employees to do those low value (but necessary) tasks makes very little economic sense.
So, now that we know what some of the main problems are, how can they be solved?
We’ve talked a lot in our previous blogs about what intelligent automation and AI are, and how they can improve the way a business functions, so for a more basic overview, you can go and read some of our other blog posts. But relating to the specific problems above, there are generally 4 key ways intelligent automation can benefit a business:
It Can Handle Huge Data Volumes: Large-scale data processing is where intelligent automation thrives. Capable of processing thousands of data points a second and automating their route through the business based on what needs to go where, data processing has never been simpler. And because it needs little to no human interaction, businesses can redeploy their employees into more productive roles.
It’s Cost Effective: Manual data processing is time-consuming, and when done by a human it is hugely costly. By removing the human element, businesses can save money by utilising their employees for more valuable, revenue generating tasks.
It’s Accurate: Because of the complexity of the modern data landscape, large-scale manual analysis and processing is far too slow and incredibly prone to error. Intelligent automation enables consistent, efficient and accurate analysis every time – something that’s impossible for a human to achieve on a large scale.
It’s Driving Innovation: As the technology grows, the world is realising more of the potential for intelligent automation and machine learning to address large-scale societal issues. In their recent report, The Royal Society touches on the idea that these technologies could be used to shine a new light on risks like statistical stereotyping, climate change and even the way the government handles data.
And that’s before we even talk about some of the more practical improvements RPA can make in a business. But that will do for now. If you would like to know more about how intelligent automaton can solve some common workplace problems, then all you have to do is get in touch with one of the team. We’ll be happy to talk you through the benefits of RPA, and give you a free demonstration of what it could do for your business.