Automation and job satisfaction: Does technology really make us happier?

automation job satisfaction

Source: Adobe Stock.

We take automation for granted in today’s working world. From payroll software through to end-to-end marketing solutions, we’d be hard-pressed to find a business function that hasn’t optimised its outputs via the latest technology. And most people would agree that automation, when used well, saves both time and money. 

But how much have we really explored how automation improves our happiness at work? We know instinctively that this should be a by-product of doing away with tedious tasks, but are we measuring it in a meaningful way? Are we really being conscious of the time we’re ‘saving’ and where it’s then being ‘spent’?

How is automation increasing work happiness?

A recent survey of 500+ CFOs asked exactly how automation has increased happiness and job satisfaction for them. Interestingly, the top finding related to how automation affects a CFO’s team: 41% of respondents said a happier finance team creates a better work environment. So, when automation has a positive impact on one employee, this effect is cumulative.

Of those surveyed, 40% said that automation made them happier at work because they now have the ability to engage with more rewarding strategic tasks. This is exactly what automation should be achieving for people. To do this, business leaders can be mindful about being ready to redeploy employees into more strategic work, so that as time is saved via automation, the use of that time is planned upfront and not lost to less useful tasks.

Everyone’s work satisfaction should be considered

It’s also helpful for business leaders to think about how automation is affecting employees at varying seniority levels and across different departments within an organisation.

If entry-level staff are being freed up at the expense of senior staff who then need to spend more time managing or working with a new tool, it probably isn’t the right technology for an organisation. Project management software can be guilty of this, with endless approval requests clogging managers’ inboxes.

Similarly, if a new system makes work easier for one team, but increases admin for the rest of the business, overall, the business is losing. It’s very easy to focus on solving a problem for one part of an organisation, and typically that department will be the one championing the new software, but technology needs to be understood holistically, ensuring it works well for everyone.

Leading solutions like DiviPay are designed to remove bottlenecks, not simply push them further up, down or across the chain. One employee or team’s happiness and job satisfaction need not come at the expense of another.

Automation checklist

A checklist for business owners when considering new technology should include:

  • How is it saving us time and money?
  • What will it cost the whole business?
  • Who stands to gain and who might lose?
  • Does it really improve work or just create new problems?
  • Is there a better solution available that benefits more employees?

Automating Finance: Wins, challenges, and what’s next’ examines how CFOs are using automation, their top commercial goals and their priorities for 2022. The report also addresses the less tangible aspects of automation, asking how it’s increasing happiness and job satisfaction, what employers are doing to protect skills development when entry-level tasks are automated, and how to manage pressure when other areas of the business weigh in on automation within finance. 

Read the full report here.


DiviPay is an all-in-one virtual business card and expense management platform that enables finance teams to better manage, control and streamline spending across their organisation. Founded by Daniel Kniaz and Russell Martin, DiviPay’s easy-to-use web and mobile app comes with instant virtual expense cards, bill pay, card controls and budgeting, a real-time transaction feed, automated expense reports, powerful accounting integrations, subscription spending management and exclusive rewards.

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