Workers are concerned about their future employment prospects as automation software, robotics, and other types of new technology disrupt businesses. Businesses that implement new technologies can ease anxieties and boost morale by giving professional development and training opportunities.
New technology has become a regular in headlines that predict the future of nearly every business, from artificial intelligence to machine learning.
Although most employees know that technology will impact the way they operate in the future, few can envision how these changes will manifest.
As a result, workers are excited about the prospect of learning new technology, but they are also concerned that it could eliminate their existing positions or future job chances.
Clutch polled 521 employees to find out how technology is altering both current and future working practices.
This article might help you better understand how your employees’ hopes and anxieties about technology and the future of work affect morale at work.
- Nearly half of employees (48%) feel that technology improvements will have the most significant impact on the future of work. Robotics, such as self-service kiosks or automation software, has already been employed in nearly one-fifth of enterprises (17 percent).
- Technology, according to two-thirds of workers (66 percent), will create new chances.
- The majority of workers (87%) are willing to change their abilities to adapt to changing employment conditions.
- Moreover, half of the workers (51%) are enthusiastic about the prospect of learning new techniques in the workplace, and more than a third of workers (35%) who work for organizations that do not use new technology are hopeful that their company will do so shortly.
- Over half of the organizations (45%) hired new personnel with technical knowledge or abilities in the previous year.
- Out of every ten enterprises (10%) laid off staff in the previous year due to technological advancements.
- Moreover, one in ten workers (13%) are unsure about their ability to obtain a job that fits their skills and experience or is concerned that their current position may be obsolete in the next five years due to technological advancements (14 percent ).
Workers Are Ready to Embrace Future Technology
Employees are aware that technology is transforming the workplace, and most of them are eager to learn new technical skills.
Compared to other variables such as the aging workforce or politics, over half of the workers (48%) believe technology improvements will have the most significant impact on the future of work.
Two-thirds of workers (66%) feel that technological advancements will result in new career opportunities.
Still, it’s vital to remember that new technologies will only open up career chances for employees who have mastered the necessary skills.
The majority of workers (87%) are willing to change their abilities to adapt to changing employment conditions.
How willing are workers to learn new skills?
However, workers’ readiness to learn new skills does not reflect their overall feelings about technology’s future impact.
According to Dean Pipes, chief innovation officer of TetraVX, a communications provider specializing in cloud-based solutions, leaders significantly impact whether a company successfully incorporates new technologies.
Pipes has a lot of expertise in managing teams through the adoption of new technology.
“How responsive your culture is to new tools determines how quickly any collaboration technology is adopted,” Pipes added. “Users have no motive to participate or follow a specific governance if leadership does not develop or define best practices.”
Any new technology should be user-friendly and compatible with the company’s culture, according to leaders. Workers who travel frequently and rely on their smartphones, for example, are more likely to profit from an app than software that requires a desktop computer.
Fortunately for business executives, more than half of employees (51%) are enthusiastic about learning new technology.
Moreover, a third (35%) of people who work for organizations that haven’t embraced new technology are optimistic that they will.
Employees are likely to enjoy the opportunity to learn new skills that will help them prepare for their future professions as organizations adapt to new technology.
Employers seek employees with technical skills and knowledge.
Technology has an impact on how businesses determine whether to hire or fire personnel.
Nearly half of companies (45%) employed new personnel in the last year because their technical expertise or abilities met their changing needs.
Despite this, one out of every ten businesses (10%) has laid off workers owing to technological advancements.
In some circumstances, technology may render a job obsolete or increase the efficiency of a single person to the point where hiring numerous people is no longer feasible.
The Flottman Company, a Cincinnati-based print shop founded in 1921, exemplifies how technology may help established firms create new jobs.
Flottman Company’s director of marketing and communications is Ed McMasters. In recent years, McMasters has witnessed an increase in the number of clients wanting help with digital marketing in addition to traditional printed marketing assets.
Recognizing the growth potential, Flottman Company opened a new branch dedicated to digital projects.
McMasters spent nearly a year looking for the appropriate candidate to help Flottman Company expand its digital marketing services. He eventually found someone with both sales and digital talents to join the team.
McMasters outsources specific technical jobs rather than hiring full-time personnel as Flottman Company’s portfolio of digital marketing clients develops. Requests for WordPress services, for example, are pretty infrequent; therefore, McMasters maintains a project-by-project connection with an expert.
In general, businesses engage technical workers to help them expand into new and evolving markets.
Workers with no technical skills may find it challenging to get work.
Workers with minimal technological skills may find it difficult to adjust to workplaces becoming increasingly reliant on digital or technology technologies.
More than one-third of workers (13%) feel unsure about their capacity to obtain work that fits their abilities and experience.
Although this percentage may appear small, it has a substantial impact on employee morale. One or two people in every ten-person team may be concerned about their future job possibilities.
A similar amount of workers (14%) are concerned that their current job may be obsolete in the next five years due to technological advancements.
Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions, is an expert in attracting and maintaining top performers. He understands why people are concerned about a future in which robots take our jobs, but he believes the reality will be less dire.
“I wouldn’t be concerned that a robot will take your work,” Wolfe remarked. “However, even if the title is the same, it won’t be the same work you had before.”
Instead, technology will most certainly alter how we finish work activities or automate some of them. Companies may consolidate positions or hire fewer people than in the past by decreasing the demands on human labor.
Employers look for people that are curious and have technical skills.
Employers will increasingly look for a combination of specialized technical abilities and a willingness to learn when hiring new employees because technology is continuously changing.
Wolfe advises employers to look for employees who exhibit specific characteristics, such as:
- a desire to learn ways to improve processes
- When confronted with a problem, creativity is required.
- Possibility of taking calculated risks
Eric Schmidt’s approach to hiring Google personnel echoes Wolfe’s conclusion. Schmidt, the CEO of Google, advises employers to hire people who are curious and persistent.
“In a knowledge economy, the combination of persistence and curiosity is an excellent predictor of employee success,” Schmidt said.
Employees with these characteristics are better likely to adjust to new technology or other disruptive forces that alter their daily tasks.
These employees can also assist their coworkers in embracing challenges.
Workers should emphasize both examples of how they have applied their technical talents and models of how they can adapt to changes while interviewing for jobs.
A candidate who knows how to use accounting software, for example, might describe how she created a unique procedure for tracking money for a customer who was beyond the boundaries of how her organization used the technology.
Successful employees in the future will be proactive in keeping up with new technology while demonstrating interest in what comes next.
The Most Common Forms of Future Technology Are Robotics and Automation
Enterprises will almost certainly use robotic applying as they install new technology. Everything from self-service kiosks to the automation of specific labor procedures is covered by automated technology.
In 2018, roughly one-fifth of all enterprises (17%) had already incorporated robotics.
Wearable technology, such as smart laptops and watches, as well as artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa and chatbots, are becoming more common in the workplace, in addition to robotics.
McMasters’ team just purchased new machinery for folding printed leaflets at Flottman Company.
Employees used to manually adjust the folding machines, spinning dials, and align patterns. The procedure was time-consuming and exposed the company to costly human mistakes.
This process is now digitalized and automated thanks to their new machine. Instead of depending on personnel to manually set the devices, the new machines have touchscreens.
Employees now enter the size and types of folds needed, and the machines fold the leaflets swiftly and precisely.
“It’s lightning-fast,” McMasters added. “They can turn out 9,000 pieces in the time it takes us to turn out three.”
Automated technology has reduced errors while increasing productivity by over 30% at Flottman Company.
Companies will rely on automated technology and robotics to save costs while increasing productivity as new technology emerges.
When it comes to introducing new technology, transparency is crucial.
Changing daily operations, even when staff are eager to learn new technology, can be scary. Companies that are successful at introducing new technologies are more open about their future goals.
The following are some of the best practices for deploying new technology:
- Providing updates as further information becomes available and encouraging staff to ask questions
- Employees should be involved in the selection of new technology tools.
- energizing employees by emphasizing fresh technological possibilities
- Thinking about how technology might help you support your existing procedures and culture.
- Each of these qualities can make employees feel more positive and encouraged by the arrival of new technology rather than dissatisfied by changes in their workday.
Managers should not mistake workers’ skepticism for noncompliance or insubordination; instead, they should channel it into a valuable exercise that helps people integrate new technologies into their current jobs.
Wolfe provides a template for eliciting questions from employees: “We want you to express your concerns because it will help us become more flexible and adaptable.”
These questions can also assist managers in identifying and resolving any issues that arise as a result of introducing new technologies.
McMasters faced issues at Flottman Company when it came to decommissioning the company’s antiquated folding machines. He predicted that the people hired to operate the new folding machines would alter the business’s social dynamic, including around a quarter of employees who have worked for the company for 20 years or more.
“We understood there was going to be a steep learning curve,” McMasters said. “In general, I’d say the employees were skeptical and apprehensive.” Others want to see the machines in action now that they’ve arrived. We have a crew that is a little older. It’s wonderful to see how eager they are to participate.”
McMasters underlined that the new machines’ improved productivity might help the company gain fascinating new clients and generate interest in the evolving technology.
Before making a final decision on which machine to buy, McMasters enlisted the help of trustworthy staff to examine options and ask essential questions.
“It was almost like the entire squad bought it,” McMasters remarked.
Companies can lessen employees may experience when adapting to new technologies by encouraging questioning and offering clarity about upcoming changes.
Despite their concerns about the future, workers intend to adapt to new technology.
Most workers realize the growing importance of new technologies in the workplace and are willing to learn new skills or adapt their old ones to new challenges.
However, a sizable proportion of workers are concerned that their job prospects may be limited in the future. Companies are increasingly prioritizing employing individuals with technical expertise, so their concerns are understandable.
Workers, in particular, must learn about robotics, which includes software or machinery that automates current labor operations.
Companies can enhance morale by leveraging employees’ existing enthusiasm in learning new technical skills while also offering openness about why adjustments are made while introducing new technology.