Robotics and the Workforce of the Future

Automation is changing the way that many industries operate, and it’s also going to have a big impact on the workforce in the future. It’s important for employers and employees to understand how automation is already changing the business landscape. This historic shift in the labor market will take many employers and employees by surprise if they aren’t prepared. There will always be room in every industry for humans, but what might change is how those people interact with robots and AI technology.


Facts About Automation

Automation is the use of digital technology to make processes and tasks more efficient. It can be used in a wide range of industries and sectors, from manufacturing to finance, healthcare to education. There are several different types of automation. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics are some of the examples.

Robotics is a type of automation where the robots can be controlled by a computer program or other electronic device. For instance, the company Sarcos Robotics leverages different types of robotic technology. They have everything from remote-controlled robots to exoskeleton suits that are worn by humans.

Artificial intelligence is simply machines that have been programmed to simulate human thought and behavior through learning algorithms. Machine learning is distinct from AI in that the computers have been programmed with the ability to seek out and learn new information on their own.

Automation Pros

There are many positives to automation. It helps companies save money and often improve their products much more quickly. This helps consumers save money as well. It frees people up to do more important tasks.

Automation Cons

The biggest downside to automation is that it may cost some people their jobs. It’s the main reason some workers cling so tightly to their roles. Automation helps to reduce the cost of putting products on the market which can also benefit consumers.

How the Job Landscape Will Shift With More Automation

It’s likely that in a decade or two there will be jobs available to people that don’t even exist right now. As machines become more advanced and automated, there will be greater demand for workers with advanced skills. In fact, many of the new jobs are likely to require multiple skill sets instead of one niche.

Employers Need To Prepare for These Changes

Running a business means that you’ll need to figure out how to help your workers get ready for the inevitability of automation. This may include paying for training to help your staff get new skills, helping them get additional certification and education, and showing them new ways they can use their prior knowledge to help them in the future. Employers can create better remote work policies, more flexibility to help staff work and have a life, and even give them incentives to learn about other roles.

Workers will need far more than technical skills to succeed in the emerging landscape. They can start by developing better soft skills as well. Learning to actively listen, manage others’ expectations, and clearly communicate information. Automation will likely cause big changes to many people’s jobs, but employers and workers can take steps to be more prepared for those changes.

While automation might sound scary, the truth is that automation is not new. In fact, as far back as the early industrial times, humans have been creating machines to aid them in doing work. This can be seen in a mechanical reaper that replaced farm workers or today’s assembly line robots that work alongside factory workers.

It’s important to note that automation isn’t just about robots. There are many other types of automation technologies available. We already use personal assistants like Siri and we marvel at autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence systems that help with tasks like customer service and data processing. Those Facebook chatbots don’t program themselves, but they do deliver an automated service. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to automation technology in the workplace. Each company will need to assess its needs and what makes sense in its organization based on their needs.

Final Thoughts

Everyone in business and the workplace should consider automation. But that doesn’t mean it’s something to fear. Employers can help their employees by giving them new skills and training opportunities as well as offering rewards or incentives for staying with the company through these transitions. Workers should look at how automation will affect their job, but also consider what else they might be interested in doing if their job was taken over by a computer. 


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