Checklist Survey Image credit Pixabay/TeroVesalainenAccording to a study by Zapier, employees in the US have automated more tasks than their neighbours in Canada. The research is based on the results of a survey published in July of 1,000 US home workers and a more recent survey of 1,000 Canadian workers who either work at home or own a business.

While the pandemic has accelerated the use of automation across Canada, 78% of Canadian users started automating within the last two years. Only 28% are strongly encouraged to use automation tools at work, compared to 36% of US workers.

What is interesting is the reasons why they don’t use those tools. It appears Canadians do not feel they need to use them, and the reasons behind that are intriguing. It seems that Canadians have fewer productivity impediments.

  • 38% less manual work
  • 36% fewer distractions from work messaging apps
  • 23% fewer unnecessary meetings

Importantly they are 20% less likely to feel burnt out. Is there an inference here that automation or at least the use of technology is not always a good thing?

Or maybe not

Do Canadians need automation tools though? The answer is yes! The “proof” is found when looking at how they spend their time.

  • 71% spend up to three hours a day on data entry
  • 86% of Canadians spend up to five hours a day checking messenger apps

One could question the phrasing of these findings. Does it mean they spend more than four hours or anything in the range from 0 to five hours per day checking messenger apps? It also doesn’t differentiate which messenger apps they are checking, are they work or personal apps?

Zapier highlighted a figure that 18% of Canadians spend less than one hour a day on core job functions. That means that 82% spend more than an hour, clarification and further details are needed.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean?

Without a lot more of the source data, any analysis of what Zapier concluded is difficult to prove. There is no summary, and the analysis appears flawed at first glance. Zapier also asked an additional question that was not surfaced in the US survey. It asked Canadians what motivated them at work. The responses were as follows:

  1. Getting a raise (43%)
  2. Recognition from their boss (41%)
  3. Feeling proud of their work (36%)
  4. Client or customer satisfaction (35%)

What is noteworthy about this is that the responses are so closely aligned one wonders how people responded. Were they are asked to rank responses or merely given options to tick? In which case, was “Getting a Raise” the first answer available. Also, most surveys looking at motivation look at a “good wage”, rather than a wage increase. After all, the latter may only be small. It is disappointing that Zapier did not spend more time analysing the data they had available for what might have been a very interesting set of results.

The blog does not really prove the difference but it does indicate that Canadian firms should consider what else they can automate for their workforce.


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