Home & business productivity

2023 Census-wide UK survey: Modern working and speech recognition

Whether you work in the office or from home, you’re likely to be familiar with the feeling of not having enough hours in the day. But what if you could spend more of the time you do have on the stuff that really matters? We’ve explored this opportunity in a new survey, asking UK professionals how many hours they spend on administrative tasks, and what would help them to spend their time more productively.

Modern professionals can flow between a number of different workplaces over a single day: a home office, a busy, co-working workspace, the local coffee shop, and even the train ride home. This flexibility also means that, wherever you choose to work from, mundane, routine administrative tasks can follow.

As hybrid and remote working become the norm for more UK professionals, organisations need to consider how they can empower their employees to tackle administrative and documentation related tasks efficiently—whether they’re in the spare room or the conference room.

To better understand the administrative burden that modern professionals are shouldering, and the potential for technology to help lighten the load, we partnered with Censuswide to survey more than 300 UK professionals across multiple sectors. Here’s what we found.  

The time it takes to type

Almost all respondents (95%) spend over an hour a day typing, and nearly three-quarters (74%) spend more than two hours typing. In many cases, this is having a significant impact on the ability of professionals to focus on activities that generate real business value.

It’s not just professionals’ work that can suffer—there can be health consequences, too. More than one in three respondents (37%) report that their hands often hurt at the end of the day from typing. When the burden of administrative tasks begins to fill every gap at work, it can also encroach into professionals’ free time, leading to the symptoms of burnout such as exhaustion and reduced efficiency.

Hybrid working brings new opportunities—and new challenges

Our survey results revealed nine out of ten UK professionals believe hybrid or fully remote working offers advantages—with higher productivity and the ability to better manage their days being the top two benefits.

Yet working from home doesn’t come without its challenges. More than a quarter (27%) of the professionals we surveyed reported more interruptions at home, and a similar number (24%) say they don’t have the same tools available to them as if they were in the office.

Although technology can’t do much about a neighbour with a leaf blower, or a pet that really wants to appear in a video call, the right tools can make a big difference to professionals’ productivity.

Leading speech recognition technology has proven its potential to help professionals complete everyday administrative tasks faster, and with less effort. And now that it’s cloud-based, it’s even easier to take wherever work takes place. So why isn’t it in every organization yet?

Overcoming the barriers to using new technology

We found that perceptions remain a barrier to embracing new solutions like speech recognition. 75% of UK professionals said they were surprised to find out that leading speech recognition software is up to 99% accurate out of the box, even with accented, natural speech.

Respondents were also surprised to learn about the speed of speech recognition. 72% of the people we surveyed didn’t know they could dictate at speeds up to 160 words per minute (when the average person only types 40 words per minute).

Free up time—to spend however you want

UK professionals who are already using speech recognition technology are seeing a range of benefits.

Three-quarters report reducing administrative tasks and saving time with the technology—time they now put to a variety of more valuable uses, from building client relationships and focusing on personal development, to supporting colleagues and spending more time with family. Of those not currently using speech recognition, the vast majority (four out of five) see the technology as part of their working lives in future.

Discover how you can support modern working

How could you help your employees make faster work of administrative tasks, however and wherever they’re working? Find out, in our mini guide unpacking the complete results of the survey.

Save time

Discover how speech recognition can empower your modern workplace.

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