'If you believe the doom-mongers, you'd think workers are terrified that automation will steal their jobs'
Workers who have incorporated high levels of automation into their daily tasks are happier in their jobs, more optimistic about their future career prospects and more likely to recommend their role to someone about to enter the job market, according to a recent survey.
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of respondents believe automation has a positive impact on their job satisfaction.
And while a quarter of employees feel technology could one day eliminate their job role in its current form, a clear majority (63 per cent) believed key aspects of what they do would always demand a human touch, finds the survey of 500 finance and accounting professionals in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.
Above all, respondents saw automation as a way to eliminate the low-value, repetitive work they cited as the number one reason for unhappiness in their current role, finds Tradeshift.
By handing the bulk of this work to a machine, six in 10 workers saw an opportunity to do more interesting work and improve team morale. Half of the respondents also felt that automation would help them boost their earning potential while reducing their levels of stress at work.
“If you believe the doom-mongers, you’d think today’s workers are terrified that automation will steal their jobs, but our research shows the reality is very different,” says Mikkel Hippe Brun, co-founder and general manager, payment automation, at Tradeshift.
“Employees who have embraced automation in their day-to-day work have found that any residual fears around robots stealing their jobs quickly fade away.”
Nearly half (45 per cent) of the total respondents said they had seen investment in automation accelerate within their department over the past year, while more than half (52 per cent) said they expected investment to accelerate over the next 12 months.
Most employees felt comfortable with the pace of change, but under half (45 per cent) rated their employer as very committed to training and upskilling employees to accommodate this change, finds the survey.
“We’re beginning to build a clear picture of the future of work, which will feature close collaboration between humans and machines, each doing what they do best. It is in the interests of every business to give employees the opportunity to prosper in that environment,” says Hippe-Brun. “The current war for talent will be won by organizations that invest in technology and training that empowers employees to become more strategic, more collaborative, and ultimately more visible.”
Employers that invested in robots between 1996 and 2017 ended up employing more, not fewer, workers, according to two studies released by Statistics Canada (StatCan).