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Employees waste huge amounts of time on tasks that could be easily automated

Artificial Intelligence
(Image credit: Image Credit: Razum / Shutterstock)

Workers in the UK spend as much as two working months every year on mundane tasks that could be easily automated, a new report from ABBYY claims.

What's more, it's even worse among senior decision-makers, who spend up to 54 days managing these tasks. Polling 1,000 office workers in the UK for the report, ABBYY found they spend an average of almost 1.5 hours (1 hour 23 minutes) a day on administrative activities.

These are mostly “overly complex”  and paper-based processes, including banking customer onboarding, insurance claims and retail returns. Not only can they easily be handled by a bot, but they’re also frustrating to both workers and customers. More than half said these challenges made their jobs harder, with some even considering quitting their jobs as a result.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report concludes, two thirds of employees would love to see these processes simplified. And there is plenty of room for technological solutions, with fewer than two thirds using technology in new ways during the pandemic, and fewer than half employing bots.

Among those that did employ smart software, a vast majority were satisfied with the return on investment. Almost nine in ten (89 percent) said they benefitted from the tech, especially when it came to handling routine tasks.

AI helped them sort data and documents, remind them of pending assignments, as well as digitize paperwork, the report said. Employees working alongside AI consider themselves to be more efficient, better at collaboration and free of the burden of administration.

“Not only do bad processes make your employees’ work harder – far from ideal in a global pandemic – but it’s also costing businesses time and money,” commented Neil Murphy, Global VP at ABBYY.

“More concerning still is that our research found senior management are using intelligent automation technologies 20 percent more than junior staff – despite their biggest benefit being routine tasks. The onus is on senior decision-makers to assess which intelligent automation tools will work best for their business, and ensure employees have what they need to make the most of them. This will save precious time on easily-automatable tasks, rewarding for the whole organization.”