Technology's working its way into every area of our lives, and work is no exception. Here, we take a quick look at a few of the ways it's changing the workplace.
Increasing speed and efficiency
Whether it’s supervising self-service checkouts in a shop or digital stock taking, there’s no doubt technology makes many tasks faster.
Sometimes automation supports existing ways of working, improving the speed at which workers complete each task.
One downside of this is that employers can have higher expectations of rapid results all the time - taking the same approach to human staff as they might have to robots. Think of the constant targets and monitoring in Amazon's tech-enabled warehouses for example. That can put a lot of stress and pressure on people.
The potential for higher productivity
Automating basic and repetitive tasks may create room for workers to get more done. Using people or robots for the things that each of them does best could really boost productivity.
But employers will need to focus on helping workers build the skills they need to take on more complicated or creative tasks. Too many companies focus on hiring in temporary staff and don't invest to develop their skills. That will need to change.
Possible job replacement
Many tasks that were once performed by people are now being automated completely. Artificial intelligence can get many things done more quickly. Robots certainly aren't going to make all jobs obsolete, but those jobs that consist mostly of basic tasks may be at risk.
On the flip side, new technology can also bring about new opportunities and the need for new job roles. For example, a hotel might move to self-service kiosks for check-ins. This could mean receptionists spend less time form-filling, and can instead use their people skills to make sure guests have a great experience. So in most cases it could be a case of jobs being updated, rather than replaced altogether.
What's happening to your job?
Every industry will feel the impact of automation over the next few years. But whilst we're still in the middle of these big changes, it can be hard to see where things are going in our own jobs.
Check out our latest learning package on our WorkSmart career coach app. Over 4 days of bite-sized content, we'll take a closer look at automation and the change it could be causing in your workplace.
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