There is no doubt that automation in the workplace is on the rise. According to the World Economic Forum, 133 million jobs could be created globally in next ten years thanks to machines, robots and algorithms.
Despite headlines predicting that robots will lead to human job loss, the overall picture is now that automation will be largely beneficial to the majority of professions, through improving efficiency and freeing up workers from mundane tasks.
However, research from robotic processing automation company UiPath suggests that workers have mixed emotions about the increasing presence of automation in their workpace.
Some findings revealed a positive response. Through surveying over 1,000 office workers, the company found that 34.2% of UK workers believe that robots and automation will deliver more interesting and creative jobs for future generations. Futhermore, two-thirds (71%) of UK employees spend at least one day every week on repetitive tasks, which could be managed by robots.
However, the study revealed there is still some way to go before robots and automation are fully embraced. Despite recognising the benefits that increased automation could bring, and those surveyed were less optimistic about how likely this is to happen. 78.2% were uncertain that robots could step in and help, with almost half saying robots would be no help at all.
Businesses need to help employees embrace automation in the workplace
The results highlighted a need for UK businesses to provide comprehensive training in order to improve understanding of the realities of automation in the workplace. 58% of employees that have already started using automation within their job roles believe that the impact has been positive, suggesting that the lack of understanding exists amongst those not yet familiar with automation.
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Kulpreet Singh, managing director EMEA of UiPath, explains:
“Although we are on the brink of a technological revolution led by robotic process automation, many UK workers fail to grasp how such technology will free them to be more productive. Whilst the adoption of RPA is embraced among businesses, their staff still don’t have faith in the introduction of robots and view it as a futuristic evolution. It’s vital this perception changes and that UK companies play a key role in on-boarding the country’s labour market.”