robot13 in 4 office workers welcome the rise in artificial intelligence and robots in the workplace as they believe it will give them more time to do their primary job duties.

The State of Enterprise Work report comes on the back of a survey of 2,000 office workers in the UK.

84 per cent of respondents agreed with the sentiment that “the use of automation in the workplace will let us think of work in new and innovative ways.”

82 per cent also expressed excitement at the chance “to learn new things as the workforce moves toward more automation.”

In addition, 92 per cent agreed that “no matter how sophisticated artificial intelligence becomes, there will always be the need for the human touch in the workplace.”

While the overwhelming view on automation was positive, around 38% per cent feared that “rising automation will place humans and robots in competition for the same jobs in the future.”

“Popular culture may depict automation in dystopian terms, but the reality is that the majority of workers are optimistic about automation because they understand how it helps them focus on high-value tasks at work,” said  Alex Shootman, President and CEO of Workfront.

Other key findings from the report included:

  • Flexibility is on the rise. More and more companies are seeing the benefits of allowing their team members to work outside the office and outside standard business hours. Four in five office workers now have the ability to use flexitime. 63 per cent also believe the traditional office hours will cease to exist in the future.
  • Emails are still a pain. The percentage of workers blaming excessive emails for getting in the way of their work rose from 52 per cent last year to 61 per cent this year with workers having an average of 134 unopened emails in their inboxes at any given time.
  • No thinking outside the box. 48 per cent of workers find the term think outside the box’ to be the most overused office buzzword. In a distant second was Lets cross that bridge when we come to itat 21 per cent.
  • Ready to roll. Despite the many changes expected to arrive in the next 5 years, 77 per cent of workers say they feel ‘prepared for the workplace of the future.’