Battle of the Bots

When it comes to man vs robot we’re a little torn. On the one hand, there is a slight ‘threat’ to some jobs potentially, such as the self-service checkout replacing cashier or the ATM machine replacing bank tellers. However, there are plenty of reasons we’re on board with the idea of automation and technology making everyone’s lives that little bit easier.

Consumer spending has slowed to around 1.6% this year and is due to drop further in 2018, this is partly due to uncertainty relating to the UK’s departure from the EU, however, the UK economy is expected to grow around 2% after we have left.

It’s estimated that around 30% of existing UK jobs could be at risk of automation by 2030, industries that could potentially be affected range from wholesale and retail to manufacturing and transport and storage. Whilst these sectors have already introduced certain features that use machines in place of employees, this could see humans replaced by robots and sophisticated technology.

What changes have we seen in recent years?

  • Self service checkouts

  • ATM Machines

  • Amazon drones

  • Self service or order points at coffee shops and fast food restaurants

  • Telephone systems using IVR to direct calls rather than a receptionist

A recent report from the PWC has noted that the Government needs to respond to the changes, by addressing them in education and training to ensure that employees can adapt to these technological advancements.

New technology shouldn’t be seen as a threat, one way to look at it would be to see how productivity can be improved, there are already plenty of tools that businesses use to increase productivity and technology has provided many of them.

Next time you hear someone claim that “machines steal jobs” it’s worth pointing out how they could actually have improved someone’s work prospects. Take a receptionist’s role, for example, handling telephone calls for several departments, completing office admin tasks, taking the minutes at meetings, the list of duties goes on.

How could technology help in the workplace?

As you’re aware, we know a thing or two about phones. Introduce a simple IVR menu to greet your customers when they call and then present them with all the different departments that the receptionist would previously had to transfer the caller to. This means the customer can choose the specific department or service that they need and get through without being transferred, saving time for both customer and employee. You wouldn’t want your website to confuse or deter your customers so your phone system shouldn’t either!

AEI supports the introduction of new technology in the workplace, highlighting the benefits “We see a whole number of occupations where you might think that technology is going to destroy jobs because it’s taking over tasks; and the reverse happens.”

Telephone systems have improved drastically in the last few years as well, meaning not only can you improve your customer’s experience by providing them with a quick and simple way to navigate but you can ensure employee productivity is at its peak too with VoIP providers offering plenty of functions to help. 

“How machines can complement what humans do and create increased demand should not be overlooked when evaluating the rise of the robots.”

To find out how you could join the winning side in the battle of the bots give us a call today!