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Zapier's automation confidence index: Wave 3

By Zapier Editorial Team · March 1, 2021
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Showing quarterly trends: 64% Q3 2020, 61% Q4 2020, 61% Q1 2021

Most people spend at least part of their day doing repetitive tasks that a computer could do faster. Automation software does these tasks for you, but only three in five knowledge workers (61 percent) use automation software at work. Nearly all of those users (98 percent) say it benefits them.

These figures come from a recent survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Zapier, which explored who's using automation at work—and why. Here are the previous results: 

  • Phase 1, Q3 2020

  • Phase 2, Q4 2020

Automation helps people do more in less time

Infographic showing that 98% of people who use automation say it benefits them

Here are the top reasons knowledge workers gave for setting up automation software: 

  • It helps me be more organized at work – 45 percent (up from 35 percent last quarter)

  • It helps me complete tasks faster – 45 percent 

  • It improves the way I work overall – 40 percent 

  • To help me and my team focus on important work – 37 percent 

  • I want to reduce human error and oversight in everyday tasks – 35 percent

  • I like to experiment with new technology – 33 percent (up from 26 percent last quarter)

  • My employer started using automation software – 30 percent

  • I believe automation is a skill employers value – 27 percent

  • I believe using automation will help me advance my business or career faster – 27 percent

  • I use a number of apps that wouldn't work well together without automation – 19 percent

  • To compensate for a talent shortage – 18 percent

Automation helps people get more done

Nearly all knowledge workers who have used automation at work (98 percent) say they have benefited from doing so. Here are the top benefits. 

  • I get more done – 43 percent

  • I save time – 41 percent

  • It makes me better at my job overall – 36 percent

  • It reduces the number of errors in my work – 35 percent

  • It saves me a significant amount of time each week – 33 percent

  • It enables me to complete my projects faster – 33 percent

  • It enables me to accomplish more with fewer resources – 32 percent

  • It saves my company money – 29 percent

  • It allows me more time to work on other things I value/enjoy more – 27 percent 

  • It prevents work from falling through the cracks – 27 percent 

  • It allows me to work fewer hours – 26 percent

  • It makes me look more professional – 25 percent

  • It sets me apart from my coworkers – 20 percent

Why do people avoid automation software?

Infographic showing what stops people from using automation at work

Not everyone uses automation software—22 percent of respondents said they don't use it and don't intend to. 

The top reason remains the same from previous surveys: they don't see how it could be useful to their job right now. Other reasons people give for not using automation software include: 

  • Their workplace is not tech savvy – 19 percent

  • They didn't know it was an option for them – 15 percent

  • They don't use different apps and software at work – 14 percent

  • I/my company can't afford automation software – 11 percent 

  • I don't understand what automation software is – 11 percent

  • Automation software is difficult to set up – 9 percent

  • It's difficult to find time to learn a new skill – 9 percent

  • I am afraid using it will drastically change the responsibilities of my role – 8 percent

  • I'm afraid of using it – 7 percent

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