By far the most common worry we hear about automation is that it’s going to put people out of a job. The fear that a robot will come along and usurp you, taking away your job and doing it better than you is something that’s been around since the dawn of robotics. It’s particularly common in industries or roles that are considered ‘less skilled’ or ‘more manual’ than others, like data entry or movement logistics.
Well, the good news is that automation is not designed to replace human beings in the workplace. No matter how good robots get, or how much they can simulate human thought, they could never replace human beings in terms of creativity and skill. Instead, automation is there to enhance and augment the performance of human beings in the workplace. In reality, your job probably isn’t going to disappear if your business decides to bring in an automation solution – in fact, your life at work will probably get better!
But just in case you’re not convinced, we have some stats for you. Studies done into the uses of automation reveal that most of the job functions that could be automated are actually low skill, repetitive manual tasks. For example, at the top of the automation list with 99% chance of automation we have:
In other words, the jobs that tend to have a predictable pattern of repetitive activities, all of which are possible to replicate through machine learning algorithms. The boring, repetitive, manual tasks that not many people actually enjoy doing anyway. If we look at the industry spread, the ones most likely to see a huge upswing in automation include: natural resource extraction, food services, technology and construction. This means that human workers will be freed up to take on the more creative parts of those industries, working in areas that require more creative thought and problem-solving skills, and hugely improving quality of work life and happiness. Not such a bad deal, is it?
Now let’s take a look at the jobs that are considered ‘least at risk’ of automation, with a 0.35% or lower chance of automation. Here, you have:
What do all of those things have in common? They all require not only human involvement, but skills that only human beings can possess. Things like empathy, physical skills like massage, understanding of the body, problem-solving and creative thinking. Most of these jobs require years of study, and a level of human interaction that computer programmes just aren’t able to replicate – and may never be able to.
There is a clear trend of business activities, roles and tasks that will be automated in the future. And while the rallying cry is often ‘save our job’, in reality, we shouldn’t be trying to save these jobs from automation. Most of them are a waste of the valuable resource that is human creativity. Instead, workers who do these tasks can be moved within the business into a role where they can bring real value and get real fulfilment from the job. It isn’t about replacing human beings, and it never was. It’s all about augmenting the workforce so that it can be more efficient and happier.
At Tocabot, we understand the concerns around automation – the key is to make that leap from fear to understanding and seeing the benefits automation can bring really goes a long way in helping you along that journey. If you would like to know more about how automation works and what it could do for your business, just get in touch with us today for your free consultation and demo.