Digital technology is growing more prevalent in the workplace, but what are the practical implications for our jobs?
We all know that digital technology has impacted every aspect of our life. From scheduling appointments to paying payments, we can manage practically every aspect of our lives through our smartphones. Technological advancements have also made their way into the workplace, drastically changing how we operate.
Workers may become unsettled when digital technology becomes more integrated into workplaces. It’s simple to see why, with technology like artificial intelligence and robotics capable of replicating aspects of our employment. In the next decade, half of UK workers fear they will be replaced by automation, artificial intelligence, or robotics. An additional 61% are concerned about artificial intelligence.
While some low-skilled, manual professions will inevitably be replaced by digital technology and AI, the good news is that it will create more jobs than it eliminates. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, technology would eliminate 85 million jobs while creating 97 million new ones. It will also improve skilled professions and enable people to be more efficient and productive.
Why are developing technologies beneficial to workers?
AI and automation will not only provide more jobs, but they will also help individuals to be more productive in their current and future employment. Increased efficiency has resurfaced as a source of anxiety about job security. Why would you continue to work full-time if your job could be completed in half the time?
Workers in the UK worked excessively long hours before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to research. According to a 2019 CIPD survey, three out of every five UK workers put in an extra ten hours a week. A fifth said they were weary and under “extreme strain” at work, while another two-thirds stated they had health difficulties at work.
Similarly, while homeworking has helped many people achieve a better work-life balance, employees in the UK work an extra two hours per day on average, with the majority not logging off until 8 p.m. In light of this, increased efficiency has the potential to alleviate the overworking situation.
You can focus on the main components of a role if you can automate or eliminate the manual, repetitive components of a job. This significantly boosts productivity, resulting in a higher-value output. This is important for any organization, but it also helps employees feel less stressed and achieve a better work-life balance.
What Impact will AI And Automation Have on The Workforce?
As with every previous industrial revolution, jobs that are low-skilled and easily automated are the ones most likely to be made obsolete by digital technology. Waiters, shelf-fillers, “elementary sales occupations” (manual tasks such as shop greeters and trolley collectors), bar employees, and kitchen and catering helpers are predicted to be the roles most at risk from automation, according to the ONS.
On the surface, this appears to be a cause for alarm. However, these occupations account for only 7.4% of all jobs in the UK. Technological developments have always resulted in the abolition of manual labor occupations. Lift operators, bus conductors, and classic switchboard operators are no longer employed in the United Kingdom since they are no longer required. Technology rendered these careers obsolete, and they were replaced with vocations that were in more demand.
Dentists, teachers, and medical practitioners are among the least likely to be laid off. Furthermore, senior executives and directors are unlikely to be automated. All of these roles have innate human characteristics, making them indispensable and irreplaceable. Parts of the jobs of some medium-risk jobs, such as HGV drivers and construction workers, will almost certainly be automated. This indicates that while these tasks are important, they may be made more efficient, allowing staff to get more done throughout their day.
What Are The Real Challenge of Digital Technology?
It does not mean the net job loss but the digital skills gap, because digital technology creates more than it eradicates.
The demand is high for soft skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, stress tolerance, and autonomy. This is great news since these are intrinsically human skills. So, while certain roles with soft competencies are no longer needed, robots cannot replicate the essential characteristics of the future.
But, in particular, about digital skills, the Learning & Work Institute said that the UK is at the brink of a “catastrophic” skill shortage. The highest requirement in everyday technological skills such as knowing how to complete tasks with a mobile device or PC. In addition, the demand is growing for specialist expertise in the areas of AI, cloud software, and automation. However, what we are seeing is the lack of skills in both the main areas in school and university leavers.
Increasing Efficiency By Utilizing Common Place Technology
As an example, consider the medium-risk role of an HGV driver. On the surface, it may appear that there isn’t much to automate. Drivers, however, have many responsibilities in addition to traveling from point A to point B. One of the most important aspects of their job is to guarantee that the goods are delivered to the correct person and to keep track of the proof of delivery. Not only is there a risk of misplacing paper documentation, but it may also result in additional data entry or administrative processing.
These simple steps can mean the difference between a driver finishing on time and heading home from their last job of the day or going to work and working an extra hour or two. Even something as simple as computerized proof of delivery software can drastically decrease this extra labor.
Senior executives in any industry can benefit from strong business management solutions that use artificial intelligence to assist them in making strategic decisions. These tools will never make your decisions for you or steer your company in the right direction, but they will empower you to make wise and well-informed choices.
Fears about the future of humans in the working have long accompanied technological developments. However, these fears were never realized. When computers were first introduced into the workplace, they did not completely replace humans, and artificial intelligence will not do so either. It will make us more efficient, allowing us to get more done on a given day. This is great news for CEOs, as staff efficiency is critical to profitability. Employees have a better work-life balance as a result of this.