Society has long grouped automation with job loss. While the Office for National Statistics has found that nearly 7.4% of jobs in England are at risk of becoming obsolete because of automation, that does not necessarily mean that opportunities will dissipate.
According to the World Economic Forum, machines could eliminate 85 million jobs by 2025, while simultaneously creating 97 million new jobs.
It is understandable why companies are turning to automation for everyday tasks. For instance, online grocery retailer Ocado recently invested into fully automated warehouses in the UK, allowing it to improve its efficiency and accuracy.
Additionally, these machines are able to work around the clock and are cheaper to maintain than employing humans.
Unfortunately, this does mean that automation limits opportunities for employees in their existing roles, particularly those in the manufacturing industry and even those in financing and accounting jobs.
However, jobs that are considered “highly-skilled” and require human contact, experience, empathy and creativity are at least risk.
Still, automation can open the door to more upskilling opportunities for employees and create more jobs to work alongside this technology.
This is good news for workplace wellness, as research has indicated that the decrease of monotonous tasks increases workplace satisfaction and productivity.
Overall, as companies make the transition to a more automated workplace, they will need to emphasize the importance of reskilling and upskilling in order to help employees adapt to the evolving future of work.