A recent collaborative study by work management platform monday.com and independent research company RepData illuminates the importance of software and technology tools, and specifically tools for automation, in boosting productivity for the evolving workforce. The results from the Global Productivity Survey, involving 4,000 workers from diverse industries in three countries, reveal that most employees don’t believe their organizations provide enough efficient processes, tools and workflows for maximum productivity.
In other words, they perceive their own companies as obstacles to their productivity.
According to the survey, only 26% of employees surveyed (28% in the U.S., 21% in Australia and 21% in the U.K.) believe they have the necessary tools to streamline work processes, despite using an average of 10.5 technology tools each month — with equal distribution between web-based (e.g., Gmail, Slack) and PC-based (e.g., Outlook, MS Office) tools.
Ninety-two percent of respondents recognize productivity as vital to business success in 2023, with 80% believing collaboration and productivity automation tools enhance employee engagement. However, only a quarter of employees fully endorse the effectiveness of their current tools in streamlining work processes.
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Given today’s increasing business pressures, monday.com advised that organizations must prioritize addressing and eliminating obstacles that hinder their employees’ productivity.
“The results confirmed what we suspected: Workers want to be productive while simplifying their work processes but don’t know exactly how to get there,” Hila Levy-Loya, VP of strategy at monday.com, told VentureBeat. “Now more than ever, organizations must be open to addressing employees’ needs as they pursue productivity, in a distributed workforce, in the way that makes the most sense for them.”
The survey further reveals that workers perceive the potential to save over 10 hours per week through tech consolidation.
Moreover, a majority of knowledge workers (78% globally, 82% in the U.S., 83% in Australia and 80% in the U.K.) anticipate a positive impact on their daily lives from workflow automation within the next three years. Likewise, 76% of knowledge workers (79% in the U.S., 76% in Australia and 76% in the U.K.) assert that their organizations should prioritize workflow automation to a greater extent.
The essence of streamlining work through technology
Monday.com’s Levy-Loya said that the company’s curiosity about the daily performance of employees across diverse industries, their tool usage, and the evolving nature of their productivity interactions in the contemporary work landscape led to the creation of the Global Productivity Survey.
As indicated by the survey data, she believes that a major hindrance lies within the companies themselves, and a lack of access to appropriate technology.
“Traditionally, companies ran their businesses on rigid, pre-packaged software that did not meet their employees’ needs and could not be used across the entire organization,” Levy-Loya told VentureBeat. “As a result, work became siloed, and organizations were forced to run their businesses within the limitations of their chosen software versus making the software work for them — limiting the ability to grow and empower employees to approach work in the most efficient way possible.”
The report uncovers findings that showcase employee sentiment about the importance of streamlining work technology and tools:
- Most knowledge workers (80%, including 87% in the U.S., 83% in Australia and 82% in the U.K.) believe collaboration and productivity tools enhance employee engagement.
- Approximately three out of four workers concur that prioritizing the consolidation of their company’s toolset is crucial. This sentiment is even more prevalent among employees in larger companies (79% compared to 72%) and those who perceive their company as adept at leveraging technology for simplifying processes (83% compared to 72%).
Levy-Loya emphasized the importance of simplicity, adaptability and streamlining in employees’ tools and processes, even within complex business models that rely on intricate information.
She pointed out that convoluted work processes can lead to information overload for employees. This stress, combined with an uncertain business environment and an excess of technology tools that contribute to complexity rather than clarity, can diminish workers’ motivation.
“Simply put, happy employees are productive, and when they are productive, they are happier. The survey revealed that 76% of workers believe improving productivity helps prevent employee burnout, and 92% of workers say productivity is key to business success,” she said. “Companies should prioritize eliminating corporate humdrum and creating an environment where leaders continually provide ways to improve access to new technologies and processes that can increase productivity.”
Workflow automation emerges as a top priority for employees
The findings reveal a strong consensus among employees that workflow automation, a process where software performs tasks and activities without human intervention, can enhance productivity (84% to 86% in the U.S., 87% in Australia and 86% in the U.K.) and improve worker happiness and morale, despite a lack of clarity on its implementation.
Moreover, only 26% of employees (28% in the U.S., 21% in Australia and 21% in the U.K.) express complete agreement that their company possesses the necessary automation tools.
“We’re still in the beginning stages of workflow automation; however, AI automation will likely play a significant role as this technology evolves. AI-powered tools are making waves across various industries, revolutionizing how we operate in the workplace,” said Levy-Loya. “As leaders consider integrating AI tools into their operations and tech stacks, they should think critically about the employee experience to ensure they provide and deploy processes that improve workforce adaptability, collaboration and productivity.”
Levy-Loya highlighted how automation can reduce the need for employees to perform repetitive tasks. Administrative responsibilities like data entry or note-taking can be time-consuming and disengaging for employees. Automation can not only promote a healthier work-life balance but also reduce stress levels.
Automation also optimizes processes company-wide, improving communication and collaboration. Levy-Loya emphasized that employees can make better decisions and achieve heightened productivity as tasks are completed more efficiently.
She believes that in the current climate, organizations must be receptive to reevaluating their infrastructure, processes and operations to empower their employees for success.
“As employees experience greater flexibility and autonomy, companies should meet them where they are and empower them with the right tools instead of resisting in the name of the status quo,” said Levy-Loya. “When simplifying work processes, companies should focus on what’s important and remove processes that cause clutter. Transparency and collaboration should be prioritized; workflows should highlight flexibility and unnecessary information should be eliminated.”