The introduction of robotics and automated workforce is already impacting the world of work, but there is no reason to worry about your job since human roles will evolve alongside technological change.
We are starting to see robots in workplaces as diverse as assembly lines in manufacturing plants to the introduction of self-service checkouts in supermarkets, but with this change comes an opportunity to create and adapt existing jobs as the workforce evolves.
There have recently been a number of news stories about the impact robotics is expected to have on the workforce, many of them predicting how many jobs will be lost. A report by Deloitte and the University of Oxford claimed that 10 million jobs would be lost to robots or computers within the next two decades.
But what many overlook is the fact that new technology will also create new roles. It’s equally important to remember that there is no substitute for the human touch. Soft skills are incredibly important and are not to be underestimated in business.
Rather than destroy jobs, technology can be expected to instead change roles, allowing workers to focus on other key areas of their work. Sure enough, some people will need to retrain for their evolving roles, but rather than being displaced by technology they will gain new skills. This is where HR functions will have a key role in ensuring that the human skills at their disposal are maximised.
There are so many skills that humans have that robots simply cannot learn. For instance, a robot will never be an innovative and collaborative problem solver that can come up with and share creative ideas. You also cannot automate empathy and human instinct, which are crucial to a lot of roles.
Ultimately, technology will be used to increase productivity by completing tasks that are laborious to humans and it is much more efficient at, such as searching documents. Technology will be implemented where it has the most value and business will take cost into consideration, only automating parts of the process where it makes business sense.
Rather than fearing the advancement of technology, we should see it as a tool that will enable us all to work smarter in our roles. It should be seen much more as an enabler, helping us to be more efficient.
This article was originally published on Hays.