60% of Employees Happy to Hand Tasks to Automated Systems

Over 60% of employees would outsource work tasks to an automated system if they could, according to research commissioned by ABBYY, the document analysis company. The study involved 1,200 employees in the UK.

The survey also found that for almost a quarter of British employees (24%) attending meetings is their most disliked work activity. While one in six (17%) dislike reviewing long documents and more than one in eight (13%) don’t like speaking to customers. Artificial Lawyer was in fact a bit surprised the dislike of reviewing documents was not higher, though perhaps this is because out of the general population it’s not something most employees are asked to do. I.e. what is most hated as a task are the tasks most people have to do as part of their jobs, such as interminable meetings about organising meetings.

The jobs that employees would most like to hand over to a machine are inputting data (16%), taking minutes and notes (14%) and electronic filing (12%). Again, the figures are perhaps better to see as ranked issues, i.e. that inputting data is the area where people would most like to hand it over to a machine.

As automation continues to change the nature of work, Human Resources professionals need to be aware of how these changes are impacting employees’ preferences and expectations. While some tasks are better suited for machines, other aspects of work such as employee engagement and development require a human touch. As such, HR professionals must navigate the changing landscape of work by identifying the areas where automation can be leveraged to increase efficiency and productivity, while also recognizing the importance of maintaining a human connection with employees to foster a positive work culture and promote growth and development.

Incredibly – and Artificial Lawyer feels sympathy for those in this predicament – the survey found that one in four of the working population say they spend two or more days a week on data entry (26%). Wow……that is such a waste of human labour and potential. If only there was a better way to extract information and store it for future use…..

Top 10 tasks UK employees most hate


Attending meetings 24%
Reviewing long documents 17%
Speaking to customers 13%
Speaking to your boss 11%
Manual data entry 10%
Tracking hours/time 10%
Taking notes in meetings 10%
Processing documents, e.g. payroll and invoices 9%
Booking time off 9%
Reporting 9%
Which of these most hated work tasks would you like to delegate to ‘a robot’ [i.e. an automated system]?


Manual data entry 16%
Taking minutes and notes 14%
Electronic filing 12%
Tracking hours/time 11%
Processing documents, e.g. payroll and invoices 11%
Attending certain meetings 11%
Reviewing long documents 11%

Anthony Macciola, Chief Innovation Officer at ABBYY, said: ‘It is encouraging to see that the majority of UK workers would welcome the opportunity to delegate tasks – particularly those that are less interesting – to robots [i.e. automated systems].’