great resignation

(Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

Can workplace technologies deal with burnout from the great resignation?

  • 86% of Singapore’s office workers have added responsibilities due to Great Resignation
  • Three in five (61%) feel like much of their workday is eaten up by tasks that can be automated
  • 77% believe automation can help attract and retain talent

With the great resignation impacting industries all over the world, one country that seems to be having a more serious impact in the ASEAN region from this is Singapore, despite statistics showing that there are about 3.76 million employees in Singapore’s workforce.

However, these figures do not represent the skills shortage faced by certain industries. For example, Singapore’s tech industry continues to face a huge shortage of skilled employees over the past few years. While there are job opportunities available, many employees have moved on from their roles if their employer is unable to meet their demands for hybrid or remote working.

In fact, the third annual UiPath survey of global office workers uncovered the impact of the Great Resignation on employees’ roles and responsibilities, career trajectories, and overall experience. The assessment found that in Singapore, two in three (66%) office workers are feeling increased pressure at work because their colleagues have quit within the last year, the third-highest of seven countries polled.

Alarmingly, 86% of respondents have had to take on up to six new tasks outside of their job descriptions due to their coworkers resigning, and 69% reported that they do not know what their responsibilities are anymore.

At the same time, UiPath’s 2022 Office Worker Survey also found that monotonous tasks are amplifying employee unhappiness and uncertainty and that employees would welcome new processes and technologies such as automation to allow them to focus on work that matters.

An overwhelming 97% of respondents in Singapore say they feel exhausted at the end of a workday at least one day per week. They’re frustrated by mundane tasks at work, like responding to emails (41%), scheduling calls and meetings (33%), and inputting data/creating datasets (33%).

This situation has led to some office workers being motivated to seek a new position due to increased pressure on work/life balance (40%), lack of employee recognition (28%), and spending too much time on administrative tasks (27%).

As such, office workers believe automation is core to improving their job performance and satisfaction. Three in five (61%) office workers in Singapore feel like much of their workday is eaten up by tasks that can be automated.

In addition, more than half (52%) believe that automation can improve their job performance, namely by saving time (62%), increasing productivity (57%), and creating opportunities to focus on more important work (50%). 76% agree they can focus on more creative work with the help of automation.

When it comes to automation in the workplace, there is a myriad of tools and solutions available today. While most of these solutions can eliminate mundane tasks for employees, the adoption of workplace automation tools is still not as fast as it should be.

For Singaporeans, 77% percent of the respondents contend that incorporating automation, including training on automation, could help their organization attract new and retain existing talent. Business leaders worldwide are already on board, with 85% of those surveyed in the UiPath 2022 Executive Survey agreeing that incorporating automation and automation training into their organization will help them retain employees and attract new talent.

“Office workers in Singapore are feeling burnt out and are seeking meaningful work, work/life balance, and recognition. Businesses must innovate and transform with a long-term view as the war of talent continues to intensify in the country’s tightening labor market,” commented Rick Harshman, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific at UiPath.

Although Singapore’s labor market recovery is expected to continue in 2022, the great resignation has definitely had a big impact on it. Harshman added that businesses must adopt technologies like automation which helps to reduce mundane work and increase productivity, to ensure that they can retain and attract workers.

“By freeing workers’ time and maximizing their job satisfaction, businesses can gain a competitive edge with the aid of emerging technology, which is now a business imperative,” said Harshman.

The 2022 Office Worker Survey polled more than 5,000 office workers across the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, India, Australia, and Singapore. In Singapore, more than 500 office workers were polled.