We’re living through a time in which technology is advancing at a staggering rate. 

As technology improves, we’re also starting to see more jobs become automated. This is a good move for cutting costs and improving efficiency, but it’s not so positive for the people who work in these roles.

Technology shows no signs of slowing down, so should we be concerned about how our jobs could be affected by future technological advancements?

Keep on reading to find out how important humans are in the era of automation.

The future of work

It isn’t difficult to imagine how different the workplace in 2030 will be from the one we’re used to at the moment. It’s estimated that one-third of skills that are currently valued in the workplace will have changed

Many technical and administrative tasks will become automated, and the workforce will have to adapt their skills and experience to meet the needs of employers.

Automation goes beyond robots working on assembly lines, they are now being relied on to perform a whole range of tasks. From healthcare to coding, and even creative work, robots are more advanced than many people realise. They can now perform X-rays, compose music, predict upcoming trends, and even lip read and listen to conversations.

Humans are still important

Despite automation becoming more commonplace across a range of industries, this doesn’t mean that we will all be saying goodbye to our jobs any time soon. In fact, robots are being used to enhance the work of humans. Many industries believe that the key to true success is by combining the skills of humans and robots.

Robots can help to relieve repetitive and administrative tasks that humans don’t want to do, freeing up time to work on more creative tasks, many of which are more enjoyable and rewarding.

In some cases, however, managers need to be aware of the limitations of robots. Not every task can be automated and wasted investment can occur if too much time is spent trying to automate unnecessarily. Automation can be an expensive and time-consuming process. For it to be successful, businesses need to consider the opportunities, benefits, and downsides that automation may deliver before instigating a concrete plan.

Why are humans still important in the era of automation?

Even as automation becomes more common, a human workforce remains necessary.
People form an essential part of the labour market for a few reasons:

Humans can adapt to new situations easily

Unlike robots that need to be trained and monitored, humans are much more flexible and can adapt to new situations quickly.

From learning new ways to complete a task, to solving complex problems, robots still don’t have the same skillset for finding creative solutions.

Robots lack human creativity

Humans can be incredibly creative, and it would be extremely hard for a robot to match the same level of inventive thinking that humans are able to achieve.

Humans can be imaginative and innovative, whereas robots are most often programmed to perform set tasks.  

Human empathy is important

Most people have been in a situation in which they have to speak to an automated call centre assistant. This can be a frustrating experience, and it can be difficult to find solutions to issues. This is because robots lack the human empathy that is required in high-stress situations.

Humans generally prefer to speak with other humans, whether that’s talking to someone online, on the phone, or in the office. Robots cannot match the experience of interacting with a real person.

Industries rely on humans to build trust and relationships with customers, functions which, at present, robots are unable to fulfil.

How to balance humans and automation

If you want to successfully automate your operations in the modern era, balancing humans and robots should be the priority.

Here are some ways you can implement a successful automation process:

Create a plan

Before introducing any new technology to your business, you should always have a good idea of how it’s going to be used and the benefits it could provide.

Automating your business in order to follow workplace trends not a good enough reason to invest time, money and resources into a new plan.

You should consider how automation could benefit your employees, customers and financial standing. If there are no significant advantages that outweigh implementation costs, it might not be the most feasible option for your business.

There are different types of automation that are designed to benefit different industries. You should understand and educate your team on these processes and changes if you want to achieve the desired end results.

Begin with a hybrid model

When it comes to automation, it’s not a binary decision, it’s about creating a model that utilises the skills of both humans and robots.

With the help of robots, human tasks can be automated and can reduce the burden that’s placed on your in-house team. A hybrid model that maximises both the skills of automation and your employees will always be the most successful.

Encourage collaboration within your teams

Automation in the workplace can make it much easier for your teams to come together and collaborate on various tasks and projects.

For example, automating your organisation and project management tasks means that multiple people can work on the same document, or members can communicate with teams outside of your headquarters.

As a manager, you should be encouraging your team to identify opportunities in which automation can create better working practices that benefit your whole team.

Keep people in charge

Humans are an extremely important part of any automation plan. You need people to train and maintain robots to ensure that they’re working efficiently.

It takes human skills to keep automated software and machinery running at their optimal rate. To ensure success you must train your team to optimise, correct, and enhance the technology that you use.

There’s room in the world for humans and robots – we just have to find ways to cooperate.

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