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Singapore workers spend only 60 percent of their time on core work

Nurdianah Md Nur | July 13, 2017
Excessive administrative tasks cost the service industry more than US$26.3 billion in lost productivity, according to Unit4's study.


Singapore workers in the service industry spend less two third of their time (60 percent) on their primary tasks, according to Unit4's Global Productivity Study.

They spend about 380 hours a year—equivalent to two months of the working year—completing administrative or repetitive tasks. According to the respondents, they spend 30 percent of their time on manually collating and entering data, and 26 percent of the time tracking their project status. Handling invoices and submitting expenses and planning travels take up 20 percent and 11 percent of their time at work respectively.

The study also found that these excessive administrative tasks cost Singapore's service industry more than US$26.3 billion in lost productivity.

Respondents believe that technologies that could help them manage repetitive tasks, such as a digital/virtual assistant or software application, could help them improve productivity (72 percent) and their happiness (69 percent).

More than three-quarters (78 percent) of workers also think that such technologies could help their company remain competitive.

"Left unchanged, this productivity issue could be crippling for business, particularly services organisations that rely on the strengths and output of their people," said Stephan Sieber, CEO of Unit4. "We believe that the future of work will be supported by the best technology, enabling the best people to deliver more value to their customers than their competitors."

Commissioned to DJS Research by Unit4, the Global Productivity Study aims to gain an understanding of how much time office workers spend carrying out administrative tasks and the impact automation of these might have. More than 1,500 office-based employees working in the service industry in 11 countries globally were polled for the study. 

Unit4's Global Productivity Study infographic


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