Will virtual employees replace humans in near future? Can we, the human employees thrive in the era of robotics? Can employee satisfaction and robotic technology ever complement each other, or will virtual employees replace humans in near future?
The fear that robotics will take more jobs from humans than they create is real, and raises concerns that technology might cause economic shrinkage in the workforce – but is this the case?
In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, more than half of technology experts put forward the view that the potential impact of technology will not only transform the type of work we do today, but also create new and greater value-added roles, contributing to employees’ satisfaction.
The days of lifetime employment at a single company are long gone. Business leaders today need to make more effort to retain talent and foster employees loyalty; as we know, loyal employees are the heart and soul of successful companies. This is because when people feel fulfilled in their jobs, they tend to go above and beyond what’s expected. They share expertise, resolve conflicts, suggest improvements, boost morale, help co-workers and more.
From Agriculture to Automation
Throughout history, technology has been a job creator- not a job destroyer. During the agricultural revolution in 11th century, and when farming machinery was first introduced, there were fears of jobs elimination. Instead, the hard, repetitive, manual work was replaced by simple machinery and tools, and later by simple automated systems. This meant that quality increased, the sector efficiency increased and the quality of life for employees improved. The Agricultural Revolution helped to triple the size of human civilisation and set events in motion that directly led to the Industrial Revolution.
Over the past millennium, the tools may have changed but the story hasn’t. Time and time again we have seen new technology completely change the landscape of work and workforces (just compare a modern call centre to a 1950’s switchboard!) but in every example, humanity has risen to the new challenge. The same applies to the digital revolution being experienced by today’s IT industry.
Upskilling the Workforce
Looking back at the last 20 – 30 years of IT history, some roles that were previously thought of as being highly skilled and specialist are now fully automated or conducted virtually. This means that, for example, a Database Administrator doesn’t have to execute high-volume routine queries and can tackle more intellectually rewarding, project-based work.
Another advantage that the expansion of robotics in the IT industry brings is that the junior, lesser skilled engineers can move up to take on functions that were formerly unreachable for them.
There are many examples of when automation has actually supported business growth, from workforce productivity levels to directly increasing number of clients or company revenue. All this was achieved without having to expand the delivery team or the workforce. For many employees, this also means a higher income and increased satisfaction in their work. Thanks to robotics, IT specialists can shift their workload and focus on creating value-add activities and fulfilling their ambitions and aspirations.
The application of robotics means that we can free up our busy schedules and find more time to spend with family, friends and on leisure. It’s likely to increase our personal, not just professional productivity!
Robotics and Workforce Management
We intelligently orchestrate work between humans and robots. This compliments human activity and robotic process automation alike to help companies improve their business processes and bring the best out of everyone involved. Our award-winning, back-office workforce management software, OPX, is already helping companies to remove the monotony of high volume, repetitive work and upskill the workforce.
There is no doubt that robotics will have a major impact on the workforce globally and will reshape the role of the human being in the workplace. However, we also believe that robotics will allow employees to excel in roles that they find more interesting, relevant and satisfying, complementing the creativity and uniqueness of human beings.
For a live demo of OPX, please contact us.