Proper Perspectives on the Age of ‘Digital Workers’

Proper Perspectives on the Age of ‘Digital Workers’

The age of automation or what many prefer to call digital workers is here; coming with diverse psychological influences on the perspectives of all marketplace stakeholders. The fears to greet its welcome are more palpable than the embrace these productivity enhancers ought to have received. In 2019, for instance, the Office for National Statistics found 1.5 million workers in Britain at “high risk of losing their jobs to automation”, with women and low-paid workers bearing the brunt of the risk. Another research finding also concludes that workers perceive that being replaced by robots is associated with threat to their economic future. These are facts that fuel the fears. In Nigeria, statistics on the impact of robotics on the economy; its effect on redundancy and job loss is scanty. Conversely (actually this called my attention to this write-up), according to a 2019 report by Williams M. Rodgers III and Richard Freeman, robots are, indeed, coming with little evidence (yet) that robotic growth is leading to widespread job displacement, as some have predicted. They believed, there are winners and losers with automation. The report also explained that “job losses from robotization may have little impact on total employment, as displaced workers find other jobs (especially in a strong economy with low unemployment), even if at lower pay”

This is to say if we take a closer look at the future marketplace, the fears gyrating over the likely ‘redundancy effect’ and job replacement of humans may actually be unfounded. Currently, these digital workers or robots carry out activities previously done by humans where the activities are routines, predictive and programmable.

Clearly, robotics will be positively impacting businesses and the workplace in the following ways;

Increased Operational Sophistication

Because employee skill sets, abilities, strengths and weaknesses that actually make up a given workforce are diverse; we will be witnessing ‘innovative updates’ in the integration of human and digital workforce. The ensuing workplace will be a sophisticated environment of division of activities between humans and robots in the most cost effective and productivity-enhancing manner. Some activities, for instance, clearly aligns with an employee in the Human Resources department, whereas there are tasks in the same unit that aligns with a robot’s programming. The blend of both human and digital activities with their skill sets in a workforce ultimately brings about an impressive output.

There exists, in many cases, repetitive and programmable activities within an organization manually done by humans. With the introduction of digital workers, such activities could be easily done with swiftness and precision that a human employee cannot match. With digital staff, the future is already conceived as a workplace setting where human coexists with their digital colleagues who can take up and memorize routine processes that would help to reduce risks and remove the pressure off human employees. The workplace of the future for human employees is a place where they can prioritize on higher-value activities impacting customer service, using their skills, training and education to do more interesting and creative work.

A Generation Of Motivated Employee

The positive side of automation is its capacity to bring relieve to employees in cumbersome domains of activities. Digital workers will more than contribute to a more effective workforce overall; they can help bring motivation to the workplace. When human and relieved of the boredom that accompanies routines, they can focus more on projects that inspire and draw out their passion.

I read of a scenario that happened at Standard and Poor where financial journalists produce reports on the businesses they are assigned to cover. There primary focus were usually to produce detailed and insightful analyses on business and this is normally impaired by the first tiresome task of writing lengthy stock reports. The introduction of Blue Prism’s connected-RPA to automate stock report production came as relieve for the financial journalists as it gave them ample time to produce thoughtful analysis. They considered this both a more rewarding part of their roles and also a more valuable offer to the clients.

An Innovative Workforce

As human employees gain greater critical and creative thinking time, they become more innovative and birth new ideas to light. Stats may show that human employment is low with the advent of digital workers; businesses gain more when they integrate human and digital workers in the workplace.

The interventions (or innovation) of digital workers for enhanced productivity is obviously creating new opportunities for discerning 21st century worker and entrepreneur. As automation drives (and will continue to drive) change across many organizations’ workforces, it also drives the economy such that the resultant advancements and booms dwarfs the resultant job losses.

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