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EU workforce calls for key digital solutions

September 12, 2017

Ricoh-commissioned study finds that Europe’s workers feel new technology and digital solutions are crucial to improving productivity.

The study, which surveyed 3,600 workers, revealed that a third of participants felt their businesses would fail unless key changes were made. 52 percent believed that artificial intelligence “will have a positive impact on their role” and a substantial 65 percent revealed that automation technology “will enable them to be more productive”.

In addition, 98 percent of the workers surveyed told Ricoh that they were positive about the capacity of new technology to empower them in their professional lives, though 41 percent of employees cited emails as being a major daily timewaster, even more than commuting, which received 29 percent of votes.

The importance of technology in the business world was further reflected by the participants’ views that “a lack of investment of technology will cause problems for businesses down the line”, with 46 percent fearing that their competitors have a technological advantage and a third feeling that their own business will fail if investments aren’t made. The study also revealed employees’ cynicism towards senior management, with nearly three quarters of respondents believing that new technology would only be instated to cut costs, not to empower the workforce.

Chas Moloney, Ricoh UK and Ireland’s director, commented, “What we’re hearing from employees echoes the macroeconomic productivity concerns troubling governments worldwide. Too much of the working day is taken up with tasks and processes that could be automated or streamlined. By freeing up this time, technology empowers employees to work smarter and focus on adding real value to their business.”

He went on to warn, “Business decision makers should take a long term, holistic view on the costs of their core processes. Cutting investment may free up short term capital, but the benefits of increased productivity promise to pay great dividends in years to come.”  


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