Robot versus human jobs aside for a moment, this happiness-productivity mantra is frequently extolled by HR departments, while new studies linking employee satisfaction to productivity are released on an almost daily basis.
Usually, research of this type tends to reach a conclusion that suggests an extensive package of employee benefits such as flexible working, a bonus scheme and subsidised healthcare are key to reducing workplace stress and boosting employee performance.
The general principle of this is unquestionably valid, and the perks mentioned above all have their place in a forward-looking strategy.
But whilst these benefits focus on overall work-life balance, a key facet of employee satisfaction tends to be neglected – the actual tasks involved in the working day.
The process-driven productivity drain
For many people in the working world, administration and repetitive tasks are draining their productivity and leaving them little time to focus on the creative and strategic tasks that interest them.
In fact, a recent Kronos study found that admin and process driven tasks were taking up seven per cent of the average working week. Workers involved in the Kronos research pointed to reducing administration and paperwork through automation as the optimal solution for tackling this issue.
This was an interesting finding in a climate where robotics and automation in the workplace can be treated with suspicion. In contrast to oft-cited concerns, Kronos found a latent demand for automation from overworked staff who wanted to focus on the more interesting and impactful parts of their role.
Making human jobs more creative
Human resistance to automation is a key concern for businesses who are looking to implement technology to boost productivity within their organisations. However, it’s important to note is that more automation does not go hand in with a reduction in staff.
In fact, as identified, by employees in the Kronos study, automation has an important role to play when it comes to enhancing the quality of human jobs.
One of the biggest technology trends for the year ahead is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which shifts repetitive, process driven tasks from human jobs to software robots. Given that robots can work 24/7, implementing RPA saves organisations huge swathes of time and money.
In fact, against human jobs, a robot can now deliver three-five times the work of an employee with zero errors, so efficiency is significantly improved, helping businesses meet the demands of expectant customers and increasing satisfaction levels. However, just as importantly, automation can provide a huge psychological boost for employees.
Continue on the next page for details of the sectors where human jobs can be made more creative.