Europe's workforce is calling for innovative technology and digital solutions to increase their productivity, according to a study commissioned by Ricoh Europe.
65% of the 3,600 workers surveyed say automation technology will enable them to be more productive, while 52% agree that artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on their role.
Employees see email (41%) and meetings (37%) as the biggest timewasters each day – more so than commuting (29%). However, an overwhelming 98% are positive about the potential of new technology to empower them to work in smarter ways. This includes more immediate access to data (44%), the ability to work from home more frequently (42%) and a reduction in repetitive tasks (41%).
Javier Diez-Aguirre, VP Corporate Marketing, Ricoh Europe said: "What we're hearing from employees echoes the macroeconomic productivity concerns troubling governments worldwide. Too much of the working day is taken up with tasks and processes that could be automated or streamlined. By freeing up this time, technology empowers employees to work smarter and focus on adding real value to their business."
Workers are worried that a lack of investment in technology will cause problems for businesses down the line. 36% think that if investments aren't made their business will fail within 5 years. What's more, 46% think their competitors already have a technological edge.
The study also reveals that employees appear jaded regarding the motivations of their management. 72% think that senior management will only introduce new technology if it helps to cut costs, rather than empower them.
Diez-Aguirre added: "Business decision makers should take a long term, holistic view on the costs of their core processes. Cutting investment may free up short term capital, but the benefits of increased productivity promise to pay great dividends in years to come."