Impact of Automation on the Future of Work
Suresh Sambandam is the CEO of Kissflow.
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the nature of jobs and many believe that robots will completely put humans out of work in the coming years.
However, companies aren’t investing in automation to replace employees, they are introducing automation to make employees more productive and efficient.
According to a report, automation will replace over 7 million
jobs by 2037, but it will also simultaneously create 7.2 million new jobs. Instead of putting people out of work, automation will actually change the very nature of jobs which will eventually require re-skilling employees to make sure they are able to adapt to the new technologies.
Automating a job can result in more jobs
Over 87 percent
of employers around the world plan to maintain or increase the size of their staff as a result of automation. Meanwhile, only 9 percent of the companies across the globe anticipate cutting jobs because of automation.
The ability to digitise information allows organisations to redesign business processes
, improve customer experience, and make operations more efficient. Yet automation is a trend that continues to cause anxiety among the workforce. Many workers fear that automation can eliminate jobs, but that doesn’t have to be the case. This is not a human versus machine situation. The goal of automation isn't to completely replace humans but to automate unnecessary and redundant tasks so that employees can focus on their core work responsibilities.
By handling repetitive work, automation gives employees more time to handle complex and higher-value tasks like problem-solving and coming up with new creative ideas. This in turn empowers employees and improves engagement.
Amazon is an obvious example of this modern technology. Over the last three years, the company has increased the number of robots working in its warehouses from 1,400 to 45,000
. But, the rate at which it hires workers hasn’t changed. While robots were able to manage packages, the company still needed more workers to manage those robots.
Automation doesn’t necessarily make humans obsolete
According to a WEF report
, in 2018, 71 percent of the total task hours across 12 different industries were performed by humans, while only 29 percent were performed by machines. By 2022, it is expected that over 58 percent of work will be performed by humans and 42 percent by machines. This still means that more than half of the work will be performed by humans. Automation is more likely to replace a small part of the job than the entire job itself. In fact, less than 5 percent
of jobs can actually be fully automated.
Even 25 percent
of a CEO’s job can be automated with the help of machines, but that does not mean a CEO’s job can be completely replaced by automation. This can actually help the CEO’s to focus on more pressing matters of the company.
Automation handles obsolete and redundant tasks
In the past, companies had a large amount of redundant and repetitive work that had to be done manually. Not only did it take a lot of time, but it also ended up introducing human errors. For instance, tasks like documentation, data entry, and email filtering do not require any kind of creativity or complex problem solving, they are just mind numbing redundant work. Automation can take care of tasks like this, giving employees more time to deal with important parts of their work.
For instance, automation in marketing has allowed marketers to segment and target customers more effectively through email, websites, social media, and other channels. By automating repetitive tasks, marketers are able to focus more on creating unique and compelling marketing campaigns that can generate more leads and increase revenue.
Automation is the future
In the last century, technology has completely changed the way that we do business, but it hasn’t changed the need for humans to handle complex tasks.
The benefits of automation for businesses are clear–error-free outcomes with improved growth, productivity, and innovation. Though organisations need to find the best way to implement automation to maximise the benefits. They also need to introduce policies that can help employees adapt to the new technology more seamlessly.
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