A new generation of workers – the Automation Generation – believes AI-powered automation empowers them to do their jobs better, according to UiPath study

As companies continue to navigate disruption and economic uncertainty, they are seeking solutions to stay competitive with leaner teams.

Unfortunately, this often means employees are being asked to do more work with less support – causing widespread burnout felt across industries, functions, and demographics.

A recent study commissioned by UiPath has found that 58% of workers worldwide believe that automation can address burnout and improve job fulfillment. In APAC, the proportion varies widely: Australia 67%, India 86%, Japan 36%, and Singapore 69%.

79% of workers also report that they view employers that use business automation to help support employees and modernize operations more favorably than those that do not.

28% of respondents globally say they’ve been asked to take on more work in the past six months due to layoffs or hiring freezes. This was 32% for Australia, 53% for India, 5% for Japan, and 47% for Singapore. As work pile-up takes a toll on employees — 29% of workers report feeling burnout — more employees are leaning on AI tools to provide relief, giving rise to the Automation Generation.

Automation Generation

According to UiPath, the Automation Generation does not represent a specific age or demographic, but rather, the professionals embracing AI and automation to be more collaborative, creative, and productive.

This generation of workers wants such technologies to enrich their work and personal lives and prevent them from feeling like robots themselves.

The improvement can be observed from the 31% of respondents already using business automation solutions globally (in APAC, India has a high of 63% while Japan is low at 15%, with 35% in Australia and 49% in Singapore):

    • 87% feel like they have the resources and support needed to their job effectively (AU: 85%, IN: 96%, JP: 93%, SG: 87%)
    • 83% believe business automation solutions can help address burnout and enhance job satisfaction (AU: 88%, IN: 94%, JP: 67%, SG: 81%)
    • 80% believe business automation solutions empower them to do their job better (AU: 83%, IN: 90%, JP: 84%, SG: 81%)

Key findings about the Automation Generation include:

    • Automation Generation workers desire flexibility, upward mobility, and spending less time on manual tasks
    • Workers are increasingly looking for automation and AI-powered tools to help with mundane, repetitive tasks
    • More than half of all workers across generations are receptive to the potential of AI-powered automation in helping them at work: 73% of Gen Z, 66% of Millennials, 49% of Gen X and 42% of Baby Boomers believe business automation solutions can help address burnout and enhance job satisfaction
    • The leading contributors to their burnout are:
      • Pressure from managers/leadership
      • Too much time spent on tactical tasks
      • Working beyond scheduled hours
      • Uncertainty about career opportunities at their company

“Disruption in the workplace and macroeconomic factors often mean employees are asked to bear that burden by doing more with less—but it doesn’t need to be that way,” said Brigette McInnis-Day, Chief People Officer at UiPath.

“The employees of Automation Generation are embracing AI-powered automation so they can better manage their workloads, excel in their careers, and improve their work-life balance. Businesses that deploy AI in an open, flexible, and enterprise ready way are best positioned to attract and retain the types of employees that will help them thrive in an automation-first world. Automation is a key differentiator for companies to attract and retain by empowering employees and driving engagement.”

“As the economy continues to remain volatile due to the global outlook, automation can play an important role in helping organizations navigate challenges, as it has the potential to transform industries and improve the lives of workers,” said Jess O’Reilly, Area Vice President, Asia at UiPath.

“The insights from our survey has shown that the majority of workers are ready to embrace AI-powered automation to support them at work. To enhance job satisfaction and increase productivity of workers, organizations must augment capabilities of the human workforce with automation to ensure sustainable business growth.”

Research methodology

In partnership with Researchscape, UiPath conducted this research via an online survey fielded in March 2023. There were 6,460 respondents to the survey. Topline results were weighted to be representative of the collective economy by each country’s GDP – US (55%), Japan (10%), Germany (9%), India (8%), UK (7%), France (6%), Australia (4%), Singapore (2%).