The office landscape is shifting at an ever-increasing rate, and with that comes that a heavy workload as employees across various departments scramble to manage transitions and adapt to the overall change. This is of course true to some extent for pretty much all industries and roles, but a recent survey of 447 UK-wide HR professionals conducted by Cascade HR has revealed one solution which may help to substantially ease the burden placed upon HR professionals who, as we previously reported, look set to see their role expand with an increased influence on office design; that solution being automation technologies.

The research found that 44% of respondents believe the workforce does not provide enough support to truly thrive, with a further 23% stating they are unsure as to whether organisations are doing enough. As for why, 72% of participants feel slightly or significantly more over-stretched in their roles compared to in 2016, while 32% have found employment legislation harder to navigate.

Cascade’s CEO, Oliver Shaw, commented on the increased pressure placed upon HR professionals in recent times, “The pace and magnitude of change within the employment landscape – let alone the wider business environment – has posed immense pressures on the world of Human Resources.

“The stand-out finding from the research is that HR professionals don’t feel organisations are now doing enough to help employees reach their full potential. In an economy where talent is difficult to retain and commercial competitive advantage is hard to sustain, this is something that needs addressing – and quickly!”

There are however, as stressed by Mr Shaw, some positive conclusions to have emerged from the research.

“A reassuring 61% of HR professionals now feel ‘somewhat prepared’ for GDPR, which has understandably taken up a lot of preparatory time and resource as 2017 has unfolded. In fact, only 15% of HR professionals surveyed feel significantly or slightly underprepared, which seems to contradict national statistics on a business-wide level.

“So, whilst HR directors, managers and executives may have felt overstretched during the past 12 months, it appears they have still been achieving progress. It was pleasing to see that 37% believe they continue to have a strong and respected presence in the boardroom too, as recognition among senior management teams has been an ongoing struggle for many professionals in the past.”

However, while preparations for GDPR are set to occupy less time moving forward, HR professionals can still expect busy times ahead as they role expands through necessity, into areas such as the office design process. As such, finding effective ways to ease their workload and by extension alleviate some level of stress is vital, and many are looking toward automation.

Mr Shaw concluded, “Only 3% of participants said that HR departmental efficiency and effectiveness is not at all dependent on automation. But 50% believe automation has a partial role to play, and a further 45% believe that role is significant.

“The more that tech can relieve HR of burdensome, admin-intensive tasks that could easily be automated, the greater the time that HR will have to spend on the more value-adding elements of their roles.

“Automation has often been feared, in the past, as set to remove the ‘human’ from human resources. But tech won’t wipe out job roles in 2018 – it will supercharge them!”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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