Why Document AI will be at the forefront of the workplace

In a dwindling labour market, it’s harder than ever to retain employees as millions quit their jobs over the past year

The Great Resignation, reshuffle or reset – call it whatever you will, we can’t erase the fact that it’s taking a toll on businesses. Some, say employers failed by often treating workers as dispensable, and therefore couldn’t tempt them back once lockdowns lifted. Other employees are tired, even burnt out. The stresses of the pandemic mounted heavily on the way we work and shone a light on the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

In our latest research, 91% of UK employees admit they waste up to 8 hours a week searching documents for information to do their jobs. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to find something, especially when you’re about to log off work. Wasted hours spent digging through documents have piled up and there needs to be a solution that can allow employees to make a better use of their time than this.

So, what technology is out there to combat the daily drag of documents?

Piles of data

It’s Friday afternoon and you’re excited for the weekend. But, as you’re about to finish your last task, you’re under pressure trying to find that missing data in a document you need. We’ve all been there, and next thing you know you’ve already wasted hours – a reality for many. It’s no wonder 64% of UK employees say their job is made more difficult through trouble accessing data in documents. These “documents” include not just Word files but PDFs, Excel sheets, emails, images, text messages, chatbot conversations, and other documents born digital.

This has become a huge burden on employees and company resources especially when artificial intelligence (AI) exists to do the job for us. 43% of UK employees believe AI skills would free up time for more creative tasks. With AI skills that read and understand content and context from business documents automatically, employees could focus on the tasks they were hired to do, and thereby, feel more connected to their role.

Weighing down customer experience 

We all know an engaged workforce is the key to better customer experience. That’s because engaged employees tend to be more invested in the product and business. But, if data in documents is clogging up employee’s time, it is not only a pain for employees, but directly impacting the business. In fact, the inability to access data in documents has trickled down into affecting customer relations with 1 in 4 (25%) UK employees revealing it’s led to poor customer experiences. Like a domino effect, data locked in documents is affecting all areas of the business, even customers with poor communications, errors on their accounts, and delayed products and services – ultimately impacting the bottom line.

Employees want to feel empowered through work that matters, such as building meaningful customer relations, rather than spending time on manually searching for information. The problem lies with a lack of technology, and the right technology at that. This comes as 53% of UK employees agree that AI-powered software that understands documents like a human, would make their lives easier, a further 33% agreed AI skills would help them be more responsive to customers. When employees don’t feel valued or heard, they will undoubtedly contribute to the global talent squeeze. To avoid this constant drumbeat of resignations, organisations need to put their investments where it counts.

Let’s listen

At a time when the workforce is under heavy strain, it’s time for give control back to those that matter: the employees. With the right technology, employees should no longer be burdened by hidden data in documents – instead, they can leave AI to do the work for them.

Looking ahead, AI will be the forefront of the workplace and it’s a given that if organisations look towards investing in the right AI solutions, their employees will thrive. We’re seeing newer no-code intelligent document processing platforms grow in popularity because of their ability to filter through information in documents, and simultaneously be a helping hand for staff, allowing them to focus on more creative, problem-solving tasks.

Documents are everywhere – across all industries – but that doesn’t mean employees have to bear the brunt of it. To pave the way to a more fulfilled and happier workforce, one where employees don’t have to eat away at their personal lives, AI tools will be top of mind for organisations.

About the Author

Neil Murphy, Global Channel Chief at ABBYY. ABBYY powers intelligent automation. We reimagine the way people work and how companies accelerate business by delivering the intelligence that fuels automation platforms. Our solutions transform enterprise data and empower you with the insights you need to work smarter and faster.

Featured image: ©Mast3r

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