Office productivity hit by rising administration

Rising administrative duties are adversely impacting staff productivity, with nearly 60 per cent of Australian workers indicating their current job has excessive administration associated with it and 63 per cent stating that this has led to a decline in productivity.

These are some of the findings from a Canon survey  of 1005 Australian workers conducted in late 2012, which also revealed nearly half of respondents saw a jump in their administrative workload over the past year. Forty per cent of respondents attributed this increase to their role being manual and time-consuming, while 27 per cent attributed it to increased regulation in their organisation.

Just over one in five said that the rise in administrative duties was a result of increased processes in the workplace. Administrative tasks refer to activities such as faxing, photocopying, filing, data entry, invoice processing and securing document approvals.

According to Jeremy Plint, Assistant General Manager of Canon Business Services Australia, believes that these activities can serve as distractions in the workplace although they are necessary tasks.

"Administration serves a vital role in organisations, ensuring that they are compliant and can operate efficiently too. However, as the research shows, many workers have seen an increase in administration in their roles and it is taking them away from the core functions of their job," Mr Plint said.

Over one-third of respondents said that they would like to see better use of technology to automate administrative tasks, while 27 per cent would like to see the use of improved processes to manage them.

Some solutions businesses can use to deal with administrative tasks include:

  • Digitising paper documents to reduce paperwork and filing
  • Using a secure central repository for storage and retrieval
  • Saving the original source of a document to avoid difficulties modifying the document later on
  • Automating routine tasks where possible
  • Outsourcing administrative functions such as payroll or data entry

"To boost productivity, businesses need to better understand their current processes, requirements and pain points, identifying those that can be automated through smart technology implementations and effective workflows. This will help to alleviate employees of excessive administrative tasks, and focus on the work that matters to them to make more efficient use of their time," Mr Plint said. 

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