“Oh my God! I can’t believe Curtis did that to Amy. What a snake”
These were the words that greeted me as I walked into the London office earlier this week. I could pretend that I have no idea who the Curtis in question is or why he is a form of reptile, but I’d be lying. Like the other 3.4 million people in the UK who tuned in to see the return of Love Island, a reality dating show, I have been (sadly) gripped for the last few weeks. It has graced the front cover of newspapers, infiltrated radio and has occupied space on the BBC homepage. It has also taken over the office and it has been almost impossible not to hear people discussing who has the best abs and who will couple up this week?
3.4 million people represents the entire population of Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh combined. That is an awful lot of people. If you think about it for a second, for every person who discuses Love Island within their place of work it is likely that at least another 4 people are within earshot, pretending not to listen and trying to work out what ‘pied off’ means. That means that on a daily basis the productivity of over 10 million people is likely to come to a standstill, if just for a few minutes.
According to research conducted by rebootonline.com, on average workers spend 3 hours of a working week on social media and a staggering two hours per day procrastinating. In monetary terms this equates to £8,851 per employee in lost time (based on an average FTE cost of £32,782 in the UK). That is 27% of our total working hours spent not working. This means in a 24 hour period we are working only 6 hours productively.
Now, before you say, ‘but Patrick, how can we do more in a day, we work hard, and we work long hours?’ I am completely with you. As humans, we are fantastic creatures: we are funny, empathetic and creative. We can absolutely have fun in the workplace and have topical conversations. But whilst we are not built to work all day, there is technology that is.
The answer is to use automation in the form of a Virtual Workforce. To put it simply, this is an army of software robots that will work 24x7x365. They will remove the mundane, process heavy tasks from our day and will allow humans to be, well, more human.
In every industry, be that healthcare and helping Clinicians and Nurses to spend more time with patients, to social housing, helping staff provide more support to vulnerable tenants. Right through to contact centres, allowing for starters and leavers to be onboarded more effectively. For all of these and more, there is a use case for Intelligent Automation. If we want to move forward, be more productive and lead the world in AI and automation then we must embrace this type of technology.
In the way that the automotive industry embraced automation in the 1920’s and thrived, I have no doubt that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will help create more jobs than job losses and much of the research out there suggests this too. So why not allow a virtual workforce to help supercharge your business or department by automating processes, streamlining operations and removing the potential for errors in key lines of business.
As I look forward to the next episode of Love Island (ooohhh new ‘Islanders’) I can do so not feeling guilty about talking about it tomorrow. So, whilst you root for Anton to finally find love you can do so too provided there is a virtual workforce covering your back.