Adobe Digital Dialogue

Workers warm to robots, report finds

Pop­u­lar cul­ture has pos­tu­lat­ed the idea that robots will even­tu­al­ly take over our jobs and lives. But con­trary to this the­o­ry, most work­ers aren’t intim­i­dat­ed by the prospect of robots in the work­place.

Accord­ing to the recent Dig­i­tal Insights report into the Future of Work (FOW), peo­ple are open to man and machine col­lab­o­rat­ing to improve con­di­tions at work.

Based on over 3 mil­lion FOW-relat­ed social men­tions across sev­er­al dig­i­tal plat­forms between 2016 and 2017, the report found that 89 per cent of peo­ple are pos­i­tive about the role robots can play to help them in the work­place, as opposed to tak­ing away jobs.

Men­tions of automa­tion dou­bled year-on-year, the report found, while there was a cor­re­spond­ing 70 per cent YoY increase in the aver­age dai­ly men­tions of robots and jobs.

Get­ting robots to per­form mun­dane tasks

Despite some con­cern about the impact of automa­tion in the work­place, the report found plen­ty of pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment about how automa­tion could be respon­si­ble for mun­dane tasks, free­ing staff to focus on their cre­ative and strate­gic func­tions that mat­ter the most to them in their careers. Top­ics such as machine learn­ing and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence were the most pop­u­lar on social con­ver­sa­tions relat­ed to automa­tion.

Promis­ing work­place future

“The pow­er of tech­nol­o­gy has had a pos­i­tive impact on all aspects of our lives, and the tremen­dous val­ue it deliv­ers in the work­place has been no dif­fer­ent. The Future of Work looks promis­ing, as robot­ics and automa­tion gear up to enable employ­ees to be more pro­duc­tive and cre­ative in their roles. The Adobe Dig­i­tal Insights report reit­er­ates the impor­tance of work­places embrac­ing the ben­e­fits of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion as the tech­nol­o­gy rev­o­lu­tion advances,” Abdul Jaleel, Vice Pres­i­dent, Peo­ple Resources India, Adobe, said.

The study found that peo­ple ana­lyt­ics, work envi­ron­ment and trans­porta­tion were com­mon areas of con­ver­sa­tion in regards to the future of the work­place.

Peo­ple ana­lyt­ics: the report found that con­ver­sa­tions about peo­ple ana­lyt­ics with­in the Future of Work con­text have increased 20 per cent YoY as more and more com­pa­nies focus efforts on improv­ing work­places for their staff. Ana­lyt­ics is help­ing HR heads to revis­it their strate­gies for recruit­ment, employ­ee man­age­ment, and per­for­mance reviews.

Work envi­ron­ment: flex­i­bil­i­ty and impact are key employ­ee moti­va­tions, and the report high­lights the emer­gence of the gig econ­o­my or con­trac­tu­al work­force. Men­tions of the gig econ­o­my have expe­ri­enced a three­fold YoY rise as more peo­ple urge com­pa­nies to incor­po­rate manda­to­ry office shut­downs and flex­i­bil­i­ty in work sched­ules. The invest­ment of peo­ple ana­lyt­ics in com­bi­na­tion with demands from the gig econ­o­my are key deter­mi­nants to improv­ing work envi­ron­ments.

Trans­porta­tion: the report found that faster and more self-pro­pelled trans­porta­tion can change how peo­ple trav­el to work. With Hyper­loop and self-dri­ving cars receiv­ing more than 1 mil­lion men­tions, the future looks bright for trans­porta­tion. The Hyper­loop and its space-age look and speed had 50 per cent more pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment than bus­es and twice as much as taxis. Tes­la, BMW, Ford, Vol­vo, and GM are the top five brands men­tioned for self-dri­ving cars.

Based on the study, the FOW is promis­ing, espe­cial­ly regard­ing the automa­tion of tra­di­tion­al­ly mun­dane tasks.

“Automat­ing doc­u­ment and sig­na­ture process­es, for exam­ple, could open up new pos­si­bil­i­ties for peo­ple as the tech rev­o­lu­tion advances. In oth­er cat­e­gories, faster trans­porta­tion and self-dri­ving cars could rev­o­lu­tionise local trav­el. More­over, the vir­tu­al office has a lot of poten­tial in the work­place of the future. Work envi­ron­ments should con­tin­ue to improve as employ­ees demand more from their space,” Jaleel said.

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