Automation frees up human workers, boosts productivity
- Workplaces that utilize automation are 33% more likely to improve the experience of human workers, according to an academic study by Goldsmiths, University of London that surveyed business leaders in the U.S., the U.K., India and Japan. In a press release, the university said that workplaces embracing robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) also see higher performance returns.
- In addition to being 31% more productive, companies that embraced RPA and AI saw workers become 38% more engaged than those of their competitors. Majorities of those those using AI (80%) and RPA (78%) said the technologies freed employees from repetitive work.
- Contrary to what they anticipated, researchers found "technologies are amplifying the human experience, and strengthening the link between employee learning, growth and engagement and organizational performance," according to a statement. Researchers said that companies who utilized tech were 41% more likely to encourage their staff to seek out professional growth opportunities.
The need to reskill employees to work with technology, rather than be replaced by it, is critical. According to a ZipRecruiter survey released last December, polled employees didn't buy into the argument that automation would make their lives easier — in fact 64% said they believed robots or computers would replace most workers. Other studies underscored those fears; one study of the Indianapolis area estimated that 35% of the workforce in the metro could be replaced by machinery. These findings suggest businesses would do well to create a symbiotic path for workers and technology.
For many, the prospect of technological change means opening up human workers to more important tasks. In some areas, like HR, the ability to outsource work, like screening resumes, has allowed professionals to spend more quality time on interviews and talent acquisition. This Goldsmiths research suggests that companies that are mindful about how tech will impact their workforce and create integration will reap the benefits of technology as well as enhanced performance.