May 7 2018,
11:39 AM

Eagerness Instead of Anxiety: More Than Two Thirds of German Employees Appreciate the Digitization of Modern Offices

 

The latest survey from Another Monday also reveals a backlog regarding process automation and new technologies

Cologne (Germany), May 7, 2018 – Eagerness instead of anxiety, an atmosphere of departure, and knowledge gaps as well –  these are the main results of a recent survey published by the robotic process automation (RPA) experts from Another Monday. The provider of intelligent process-automation solutions had commissioned the market and opinion researcher YouGov to study the attitude of German office employees regarding digitization and automation[1]. The key result is that almost 80 percent of the staff of large German companies anticipate that their job will be taken over by digital technologies within the next five years. Surprisingly, though, most of the employees feel no anxiety facing this trend. 72 percent are curious about the changes that digitization will introduce into their workplace, seeing it as an opportunity for their own professional development.

Although the attitude towards digitization appears quite positive in general, the survey also reveals large gaps regarding central digitization topics like process automation using software robots. In addition, one third of all German employees feel that they are informed insufficiently by their companies regarding the digital change. For instance, 65 percent of all respondents stated that the impending changes of their professional tasks due to digitization have not been the subject of any discussion in their companies so far. However, for the digital change to succeed, it is necessary to make the employees aware of the challenges and opportunities lying ahead. Successful digitization projects rely on communication and a close cooperation between all employees. In fact, the introduction of new technologies and strategies is often doomed to failure if only the management board and the IT department are involved.

Robotic process automation (RPA) currently is an essential, future-oriented digitization subject. Hans Martens, founder of Another Monday, explains, “Using software robots for the fully-automatic processing of repetitive, rule-based business processes relieves employees of monotonous, fatiguing keyboard and mouse tasks in the office. This is a positive effect enabling employees to focus on value-added tasks including creative work, problem solving or direct customer interaction. In addition, apart from being quick and easy to implement for business processes, this automation technology provides planning reliability and minimum invasiveness.”

The challenge: Although the survey revealed that half of the respondents know RPA and its advantages, only 12 percent of the companies have already implemented business processes using software robots, and only 16 percent of the respondents think that such a step is planned. Says Hans Martens, “We clearly have a large backlog in this sector. After all, software robots are important virtual office assistants relieving employees of tedious, repetitive tasks. Too many companies are not aware of this. As our survey has shown, most of the employees have a positive attitude towards the digital change. On the other hand, the number of planned automation projects is too low, and many employees feel they are inadequately informed by their management. From my point of view, this is wasted potential because RPA enables immediate efficiency increases and cost reductions between 50 and 75 % if it is well planned and implemented using the correct methodology. As the workload of the employees is also reduced, this is a clear win-win situation.”

For companies and organizations striving to be ahead of their competition, the continuous trend towards digitization requires a new way of thinking and a targeted analysis of their business processes. RPA and machine learning can systematically support employees, and many processes can be made more efficient. “The fact that most employees view the digital change as a positive development is a key first step that must be followed by informed, holistic digitization and automation strategies initiated by the decision makers in the companies”, Martens concludes.

[1] 518 employees of large German companies with a workforce of at least 1,000 participated in Another Monday’s “Digitization at the Workplace” survey conducted by YouGov in mid-April 2018.

 

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