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AI is introducing a new dimension to the workplace: the Automation Generation

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Brigette McInnis-Day
Brigette McInnis-Day is chief people officer of UiPath.

Current macroeconomic factors are causing disruption in workforces worldwide, forcing business leaders to operate with leaner teams and reduced budgets. This is leading to widespread burnout across departments, functions and demographics. To help manage this reality, business leaders are seeking solutions that will help them gain a competitive edge and empower employees to be more productive despite these challenges. AI-powered automation is emerging as the solution that helps employees become more productive and satisfied.

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It’s also giving businesses the ability to provide better, more personalized customer experiences, as their employees have more time when mundane work is removed by automation. AI-powered automation allows workers to find and analyze data more easily, respond to customer inquiries smarter and faster, and streamline repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

As a result of this shift to AI in the enterprise, a new generation of workers has been born: the Automation Generation. Unlike the previous defining generational categories, the Automation Generation encompasses all ages and demographics. It represents the entirety of today’s workers who are embracing AI-powered automation to be more collaborative, creative and productive.

To better understand this new dynamic, UiPath analyzed results from a survey of more than 6,400 workers worldwide to capture what’s driving the Automation Generation, the challenges it faces and the ways in which these employees are using technology to better themselves and their workplaces.

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Burnout, generational perspectives and AI

It should come as no surprise that workers are feeling more pressure and taking on more responsibilities in their jobs—58% of workers globally report taking on up to 25% more work compared to the six months prior.

However, this is not being felt equally across traditional age groups. According to UiPath’s Automation Generation Report, 41% of global Gen Z respondents and 34% of global millennial respondents stated they’ve been asked to do more tasks, while just 25% of Gen X’ers and 16% of Baby Boomers felt this way.

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Because millennial and Gen Z employees feel as though they are taking on more responsibility during the workday, younger workers are more likely to feel burnt out across the globe: 35% of Gen Z’ers and 34% of millennials reported feeling burnt out.

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Even though younger workers may be feeling the impacts of heavy workloads more, no age group is immune to feeling burnt out. In order to combat this burnout, employees worldwide are seeking greater access to AI technologies that can help them better manage their growing workloads and enrich their work and personal lives.

Fifty-six percent of all respondents said they believe AI-powered automation would streamline their work responsibilities and empower them to do their jobs better. Interestingly, UiPath’s survey found that millennial and Gen Z workers are more likely to use business automation solutions and are more likely to believe that technical tools and software can help them do their jobs better and/or advance, compared to other generations.

Automation Generation is forging better workplace experiences

Employees using AI-powered automation believe in its ability to chart successful careers, and so should HR and business leaders—particularly if they want to attract and retain top talent. UiPath’s survey found more than half of global respondents (57%) said they view employers that use automation more favorably than those who do not.

The survey also found that 31% of all respondents are already using AI-powered automation solutions at work—83% of whom believe these solutions can help address burnout and enhance job satisfaction. And when asked how much current workplace resources, including AI-powered automation, are helping to advance their careers, 41% of respondents said “significantly.”

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With these technologies, employees can streamline workflows that can not only increase employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity, but also lead organizations to be more profitable, flexible and responsive. As workloads continue to increase and employees are seeking careers that offer work/life balance and the technologies that set them up for success, AI-powered automation is critical to delivering more satisfying, positive workplace experiences.

The Automation Generation is made up of working professionals of many different ages, diverse backgrounds, and at businesses across every industry looking to AI technologies to enrich their work life and prevent them from feeling like robots. With an automation-first mindset and a clear understanding of what will make the Automation Generation thrive, HR leaders will be able to unlock more value from employees, accelerate innovation and lead a new era of work.