The economic shutdown caused by pandemic could lead businesses to adapt to workplace automation
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic activities across some sectors are now reopening with keeping certain preventative measures in place. Organizations are now calling their employees to get back to the work in a limited way. But the impact of the outbreak could lessen the reliance upon human output and lead businesses to adapt to automation in the workplace. As a majority of workforce across the world confined to their homes owing to government-mandated lockdowns, their jobs are being gradually taken over by automation technology.
In an effort to keep businesses functioning, companies are increasingly turning to automation in order to manage supply chains and production processes. Industry experts believe that automated machines, AI, industrial robots and other technologies will take jobs which require lesser human skills. In an IoT company Pod Group survey of 500 UK executives, 73 percent of believed that COVID-19 will drive a new wave of automation. The survey report further revealed that 62 percent of business leaders expect their own companies to accelerate plans to use automation in some processes currently performed by human employees.
COVID-19 will Speed Up Workplace Automation
As people and employees are advised to stay home and maintain social distancing while they outside to prevent the spread of the virus, the pandemic, in some way, is set to upsurge the pace of the transition toward workplace automation. In the pre-pandemic world, automation technology was taking shape across businesses, particularly in capital intensive manufacturing where labour costs are higher. According to a report titled “Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018: How Technology Affects Jobs”, technology impacted routine jobs. The report further noted that as new technologies will displace certain types of jobs, increasing demand and higher output will create jobs, and new occupations and industries will emerge.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is just necessitate the need of automation across businesses and likely to speed up these trends. With the government-mandated lockdowns and work from home, enterprises now have been forced to look for automation for processes in a human resource starved environment. Honeywell, a multinational conglomerate company, for instance, has leveraged AI and machine learning for creating new learning models that helped device operators make better and precise decisions. The company has also integrated these technology algorithms in its existing Enterprise Performance Management applications that help monitor machinery and equipment performance.
Advancement in technology also has driven the imperatives of automation technology, especially robots, which have moved beyond from manufacturing lines to other tasks, leading to the rise in workplace automation.
Moreover, since COVID-19 has deeply influenced workplaces and put several job roles at stake, businesses as well as workforce need to prepare themselves with advanced skillsets. Organizations must prepare their businesses and their employees, scrutinizing potential futures and creating contingency plans for each employee. From communicating contingency plans to determining how the new normal office space will look like in the post-pandemic world, by taking these kind of proactive steps companies can better support their employees through the next change.