Robots may be the new wave of workers.
The workplace of the future may soon see robots working alongside humans, and in a recent study by Jobsite (UK), 75% of the respondents said they were “perfectly happy” having robots as colleagues.
This could not be more opportune especially in the digital village where automation and artificial intelligence rank as high as employee retention and engagement.
Interestingly, employees in the survey listed the top three jobs to be outsourced to machines as customer billing, cyber security, and administration.
While two thirds of the respondents felt that robots could be instrumental in getting more work done, more than half in the survey said that the robots could help with tedious and routine work, and make their own work more interesting.
Though robots may prove to be useful in work settings, there were employees who felt that robots could be a threat to their rice bowls. Evidently, 33% feared their job might be at risk and 37% were concerned that their skills might become obsolete in the face of increased automation.
With robots competing for places in the workplace, there is no doubt that skills can be made redundant, but the thought of having robots replacing humans entirely might remain far-fetched.
Perhaps, robots are best placed where they are meant to be – jobs that are routine, repetitive and monotonous. This might, in the short run, add value to work and the company. However, should automation be deemed highly effective, there is the likelihood for white-collar jobs to be phased off. This would necessitate the need for individuals to upgrade their skills and knowledge as the key to staying relevant is to become specialists in their areas.
Moving forward, this digital scenario will mark a radical shift in the way we work, act, communicate and live.
Perhaps, as Jobsite CEO Nick Gold puts it, “In a job market riddled with skill shortages, workers should be embracing automation, as businesses use advances in technology to bridge the skills gap. This technology is a powerful tool to create efficiencies but, like other technologies have done before, new opportunities and jobs will be created in its wake… it would seem that job losses are a way off. As such, candidates should not be discouraged. Whether you’re a fan or a critic, one thing is clear – automation is here to stay and is only going to become more accessible.”