q Why work isn’t working - Business Reporter

Why work isn’t working

Most of us spend the majority of our time at work, yet too many of our days continue to be filled with routine, time-intensive tasks that impinge on our ability to do more meaningful work. Our annual study, The State of Work, substantiates this, with 91 per cent of business leaders saying that skilled employees drain too much time on mundane activities.

This is bad for employees and businesses. As employees, we have become used to digital experiences outside of work that make our lives easier and more convenient, but these aren’t reflected at work.

All the while, at a macro level, sluggish pro­ductivity remains one of the UK’s biggest economic challenges. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that UK workers are 16.3 per cent less productive than those in other G7 nations.

It’s an issue that continues to puzzle economists. Yet a key barrier to productivity growth is poor adoption of new business tech­nologies, which can unlock more meaningful work.

Making work, work better for people

Putting people first is key. Employees want to know that they’re realising their full potential at work. Digital work­flows that make routine work easier and faster free people to focus on the more fulfill­ing aspects of their jobs. And this is possible with the technology available today, rather than looking to sophisticated implementations, such as AI, that aren’t a commercial reality for most businesses yet.

ServiceNow’s platform enables digital workflows to be created to deal with the repetitive tasks in every business, such as dealing with common customer enquiries, HR requests and basic issue resolution.

Alexander Mann Solutions, a talent acquisition and management specialist, added ServiceNow digital workflows to take on the numerous repeti­tive and manual aspects of managing more than 250,000 job interviews annually. Now the average time to schedule an interview has reduced from five days to two.

This has transformed the way employees work at Alexander Mann and freed them up to evolve their roles into high-touch recruitment facilitators and solution designers. Candidate satisfaction has also increased to more than 93 per cent.

The productivity dividend

Such improvements are particularly important for the UK’s growing knowledge economy, where the adoption of intelligent digital workflows has the ability to enhance knowledge-intensive activi­ties and accelerate the pace of development.

In fact, based on the latest employment figures from the ONS, we believe 5.7 million workers in the UK (16 per cent of the total workforce) with roles in financial services, customer services, IT, legal, HR and facilities management could benefit from intelligent digital workflows. This is thanks to business outcome figures derived from meth­odology developed by Forrester Consulting, which prove ServiceNow digital workflows can deliver a 20 per cent productivity gain by taking on repetitive tasks.

Applied to those 5.7 million workers, this figure has the potential to boost the UK’s gross value added (GVA) and the UK economy to benefit from a staggering £64.6billion “productivity dividend”. This productivity boost is within reach – it simply requires businesses to grasp the nettle. We need to make the world of work, work better for people now.

by Philip van der Wilt, Senior vice president, GM EMEA at ServiceNow

+44 (0)1784 221600


© Business Reporter 2021

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