Have you ever watched Elysium, Pacific Rim, Iron Man, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind movie? If yes, you must be able to witness that technology and automation are not only in fiction and action movie. It is breath to live and is already around us. In fact, we are now floating in a sea of technology and automation – from workplaces to home, everything is automated.
Technology becomes a hot topic every day. From professional to personal life, we could not resist using technology. In the workplace, technology is useful for communication and collaboration that without so much huss, we can see that technology is no more a luxury but a necessity. In fact, automation is everywhere. The future of work is and will continuously be shaped by the growing adoption of artificial intelligence and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet (in-house employee and non-employees), Jeff Schwarts wrote in his research.
As an example, Schwarts studied that acceleration of connectivity and cognitive technology has driven the changing of work nature. AI systems, robotics, and cognitive tools grow in sophistication and almost every job is being reinvented, creating an augmented workforce. In 2017, there are already 41 percent company that has fully implemented and have made significant progress in adopting cognitive and AI tech.
Another study on The Future of Work found that automation will exacerbate income disparity. It will divide shift to digital-savvy leaders and negatively impact non-digital workers who are unable to skill up fast enough. At the same time, we will no longer be surprised that work will depend on a symbiotic relationship between the human and machine. Even today, more and more business executives reported that they are ready to implement automation, while others are in the midst of pilot programs.
“The future of work is converging. Globalisation and emerging technologies are deeply impacting the nature of jobs.” – Raghav Gupta
At the same time, however, the future of work is not merely shaped by technology. There are more factors contributing to how we work in the next decade. Globalisation 4.0 report showed that it is all about the choices that governments, businesses, workers, and their unions and societies as a whole make. Technology does provide public service comfort and easy access. Yet, putting people first is the core of all business success. In other words, technology itself will not determine the way forward. The accelerating march of digitalisation, robotics, and a plethora of innovation will surely flood workplaces, but the importance of putting people and human-touch first remains the number one principle for business to thrive.
Employees are the heart and technology is the mind – you cannot live if your heart stops beating.
Hence to create harmonious workplace between men and machines, we should harness technology to create decent jobs and ensure a just transition and upskilling or reskilling to new employment. Additionally, leaders should be able to influence people and make them aware of how dangerous and beneficial technology is to us. Leaders should also discern that technology has no limitations while fulfilling their social responsibility. Leaders have to be working together with professionals and executives in creating decent work for society.
In a few words, the future of work we are facing today is much more than technology and automated systems. Businesses should diligently cross-check their ethics and innovation because future success does not only start in how much adaptive your business is to technology, but how virtuous are your people in embracing them.