Taking time by the forelock
According to a 2017 landmark study, in the timespan of 14 years starting from 1993, one industrial robot replaced approximately 5.6 workers. However, while the number of jobs has decreased, total manufacturing output has increased. Our economy does not require as many people as it currently employs with the already available technology. The middle of the labor market is vanishing. The businesses have been benefiting from automation for decades, producing greater and greater amounts of national wealth, and yet people are still debating about it like it’s something that may or may not become the reality in the future. No wonder why The Big Four has engaged to enhance their departments with automation. Technology adoption is the way to get ahead now and reach optimum efficiency in the company.
Companies are often concerned about the cost of these new solutions’ implementation. They know that the technology itself is not the only expense; employees need to be trained to work with it which is time-consuming and, as we all know, time is money. However, such investments are in-work and cost-efficient. Moreover, the technology becomes more and more intuitive so employees spend less time on learning how to work with implemented systems. Some of the solutions are intangible and exist for instance as online platforms, and plenty of them are either inexpensive or for free.
People are still essential for the businesses due to their creativity and morality. That’s what makes them the most valuable asset. However, a robot is free of human error, which, for humans, is unavoidable. This means that, regardless of how careful humans are or how many times they go through things, glitches will still appear from time to time. Moreover, this will only worsen if the demands on employees are higher. Even though, most errors are harmless they can create a loss. For many data-intensive sectors, the reduction of these glitches is crucial to run the business successfully. The solution is to automate as many workflows as possible. It is also worth having in mind that humans will never be able to achieve the same speed of work as machines. Technology simplifies complex processes and thus saves time. That enables employees to focus on their primary role instead of losing their energy on organizational and administrative tasks. Companies are actively investing in automation because it leads to the harmony by redefining, refocusing, leveraging and streamlining.
Not as black as it is painted
People feel threatened by machines. They are afraid that they will lose their workplaces and some of them are right. History, however, shows that technology has a positive impact on the work culture. For instance, at the beginning of 19th century, the average man in the US used to work almost 70 hours per week. At the end of the century, the number decreased to 60 due to the positive effect of the industrial revolution. The number of hours worked per week in the countries that are significantly automated is dropping, which results in the creation of new workplaces. I.e. in Denmark it’s 37 hours per week while in less developed countries it is still 40 hours per week. Thus, we should see technology as an opportunity to make our work life better by getting rid of wearisome tasks and enabling us to work less.
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This article is written by Lena Anna Janiszewska