Office outrage: Sending emails ‘most frustrating task’ of the workday

New survey reveals that three in five workers are looking for a new job, with most blaming lack of autonomy as the main reason.

NEW YORK — Does the 9-5 grind have you feeling a bit down? A new survey of 2,000 American office workers found that small jobs can really add up — in the worst ways. Nearly half of respondents agree that sending emails is the most frustrating task they have to do during their workday. From following up, sending reminders, responding and drafting new emails – 48 percent of those surveyed think emailing is the most irritating task in their day-to-day duties.

When asked specifically what would be needed for increased job performance, 46 percent of respondents believe their job performance would improve if they had opportunities to improve their existing skills and learn new ones too (44%).

In fact, creating new opportunities to focus on more important work was the top thing respondents believe automation could improve about their job performance. Some of the most hair-pulling moments during their workdays are communication-based – from hosting or sitting in on meetings (37%) to speaking with managers and team members (37%).

A case of the Mondays – or the ‘mundanes’?

Conducted on behalf of UiPath by OnePoll, the survey found other frustrating tasks included creating new products or services (40%) and helping their customers (37%).

Nearly two in five (38%) further identified inputting data and creating datasets as well as scheduling calls and meetings. Workers may be feeling this frustrated due to the monotonous nature of their tasks – with 66 percent agreeing they spend the majority of their workday completing tasks that could be automated.

Three in five (59%) of those surveyed identified the amount of “paperwork” they have to do throughout the day as their most mundane task. Nearly half also pointed to outdated software (48%) and repetitiveness (47%) as their top gripes about their mundane work.

The results also found American workers hardly have the time for these mundane tasks, finding the average respondent has taken on four new work tasks outside of their job description due to a co-worker quitting. In fact, 77 percent of those polled who’ve lost co-workers don’t even know what their own job responsibilities are anymore because they’ve had to take on so many additional tasks.

Are workers updating their resume?

All of these frustrations are coming to fruition too, as 60 percent of respondents say they’re interested in finding a new job. Two in five add the lack of autonomy and opportunity to work on things they’re interested in is the top reason they’re looking to quit their current job.

“The Great Resignation is still a very real phenomenon that affects how people feel about their individual work and their companies’ values. This leads to people seeking out more meaningful work, either with their current employer or elsewhere,” says Bettina Koblick, Chief People Officer at UiPath, in a statement. “The message for employers is clear—create an environment with the right technologies and mission-driven principles that support workers and allow them to contribute more value.”

With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that 74 percent agree they’d be able to focus on more creative and fulfilling tasks at work with the help of automation to clear up their more mundane tasks. Additionally, 77 percent agree automation will help their organization retain and attract new talent. Forty-eight percent of those polled add some automation in their day-to-day would improve their overall work/life balance.

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