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What are the most hated office tasks?


A recent survey by Automation Anywhere made the less-than-startling revelation that data entry is the most hated task by office workers. This may not come as a surprise to those of you who trudge through this task on a daily basis, but there were some other interesting findings in this survey. Data entry is impacting the work/life balance of nearly half (49%) of all workers because it makes them stay late and even worse, it is more likely to affect women than men, who spend an average of 3.4 hours a day on these time-consuming, administrative tasks. Great, I hear you say; even manual data input is propping up the glass ceiling. Read on to hear some more revelations from this new survey plus our suggestions on how you can avoid data burnout.

According to those surveyed, the top three most hated tasks are data entry, managing emails and filing digital documents. Now these might be modernised due to the involvement of some kind of technology, but whether inputting data into a spreadsheet or actually handwriting a report, these tasks have been around since office jobs were invented. Senior leadership always need their numbers, and it will always be the job of someone to collate and present them. There are two clear solutions to these three problematic pursuits; automation or outsourcing. Automation seems like the ‘cooler’ option, but the reality is that this technology, though widely lauded, is expensive and can be complicated to implement. Staff members also rarely welcome the introduction of new software; it can very easily create unease if they think their jobs can be replaced by a robot.

So outsourcing is the better choice. Still involving the human touch, you simply farm out the date inputting and email sifting that you don’t want to do to someone who lives for business processes and organisation. This recent survey calculated that the average employee loses 60 hours a month to manual tasks and data entry. Think what you could recapture from your workforce if you were to free up their time and energy to be refocussed into worthwhile tasks that have a real impact on your business and their performance. Automation Anywhere calculated that removing the time spent on these hated tasks would give staff members back a quarter of their work time over the year to focus on bigger and better things. Think about it; you don’t hire a social media manager for their ability to answer and field emails, you hire a virtual assistant because they live for email management and document production.

There is also the issue of work/life balance and staff retention. If you invest your time and effort into interviewing and hiring the right talent, you want them to enjoy doing what they were hired to do and want to remain with your company for the long term. Employee satisfaction is a huge factor to longevity and team retention, so when it was noted that 49% of those surveyed said that admin stops them from leaving work on time, consider the negative impact this has on their personal lives and wellbeing. Indeed, 55% said they would leave a job if manual tasks became too much. If you consider the average recruitment fee, that number is an eye-watering amount to be chucking out the window along with your time and patience.

Positives now. 42% of people said they would be more productive if they had less administrative tasks. So, by outsourcing your manual, boring (let’s call a spade a spade) tasks, you are increasing not only the mood of your workforce but their productivity! Seems like a bit of a no brainer to us. Bypassing these jobs to a remote or virtual personal assistant, you are given the time to focus on what needs your attention most, as well as rediscovering the joy in a role that had been drowning in red tape and support work. Outsource your data entry, email and diary management, digital filing and all other admin and business processes to a virtual assistant now to be sure of a happy, productive workforce.