Majority of employees in Asia Pacific (APAC) perceive automated processes
and artificial intelligence (AI) programmes positively, according to PERSOLKELLY’s 2019 H2 APAC Workforce Insights. However, some employees are concerned about how it would affect their job security, and organisations need to do more to promote greater integration between their workforce with automation and AI.
Businesses in APAC are rapidly embracing these new technologies, with emerging markets like China and India leading the region in terms of adoption. One-third of respondents from China indicated that their companies have adopted automation (36 percent) and AI (34 percent), and one-third (36 percent) and one-fifth (21 percent) of respondents from India say that their companies have adopted automation and AI respectively. Conversely, developed markets in APAC like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Australia have the lowest integration of these technologies in the workplace.
Employees believe that these new technologies will be good for businesses, with two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents saying automation and AI will help to increase their work efficiency and more than half (57 percent) saying it will help to increase their company’s bottom line. However, these impressions vary by both market and age across the region. Younger employees (73 percent) have a more positive view than older employees (54 percent), and this view is also more apparent in developing markets – two-thirds (68 percent) in Indonesia and three-quarters in (75 percent) Vietnam believe that automation and AI will help to improve their company’s bottom line, compared to less than half in Australia (44 percent) and Korea (48 percent).
However, some employees remain concerned, with one-third (38 percent) believing that their jobs will eventually be taken over by these technologies. This fear is highest in India (56 percent), Malaysia (49 percent) and Thailand (46 percent), and lowest in China (32 percent) and Australia (32 percent).
Despite their more positive attitudes, younger respondents also appear to be more worried than older ones about their job security. 40 percent of respondents aged 18 – 34 years old believe that automation and AI will eventually take over their jobs in the future, as compared to just a third of older respondents (32 percent), aged 55 and above who share this belief.
See also: 2 in 3 Jobs are at Risk of From Automation, Women Fare Worse than Men
“Automation and AI will infiltrate every industry across the region and employees are expected to welcome these due to the promise of improved efficiency and productivity. But not all employees are expressing optimism for automation and AI. It is imperative that companies in Asia proactively help their employees understand the value of automation and AI as a part of the workplace and integrate it effectively. That is why we have launched a framework to help guide businesses on this journey,” said Brett Maguire, Regional Marketing Director, APAC, PERSOLKELLY.
The survey also reveals that employees who have access to automation and AI are more likely to be satisfied (85 percent) with their companies as compared to those without similar access (62 percent). Increasing theuse of automation and AI in the workplace can result in increased employee satisfaction, but organisations also need to allay employees’ concerns. Currently, less than 10 percent of companies globally are actively preparing for the increase in automation and AI in the workplace.
On average, 41 percent of the workforce in APAC anticipate that their organisations will increase investments in automation and AI over the next two years. This belief is highest in developing markets like China (65 percent), India (61 percent), Vietnam (53 percent) and Indonesia (46 percent).
PERSOLKELLY has prepared a Total Integration Framework to help organisations better understand how they can introduce and familiarise their employees with automation and AI.
To know more about the perceptions of AI and automation in the workplace across the region and how organisations can adapt to it, please refer to the PERSOLKELLY 2019 H2 APAC Workforce Insights here.
Read also: Automation to Create More Jobs for Indonesia Than It Destroys by 2030: McKinsey