Robots R Us – Aussie workers don’t fear automation

Far from being worried, Australian ‘knowledge workers’ are ready to adapt to and embrace automation, according to a new report.

The report, ‘Automate or Stagnate: The Impact of Intelligent Automation on the Future of Work’, comes from software company Blue Prism. It draws on research derived from nearly 5,000 respondents around the world.

Blue Prism says the impact of robotic process automation (RPA) is affecting everything “from the boardroom to the shop floor”. Yet, surprisingly, the prevailing attitude among workers and businesses seems to be one of opportunity rather than anxiety.

Key findings

  • Only 40 per cent of Australian knowledge workers fear losing their jobs to automation.
  • 81 per cent are “comfortable” with reskilling to work alongside the digital workforce.
  • 82 per cent say they’re ready to take on a new job role.
  • 88 per cent have had daily tasks automated (compared with 78 per cent globally).
  • As for how workers perceive the impact of automation on their employers:
  • 64 per cent feel their organisations are well prepared for the changes RPA will bring.
  • 32 per cent don’t believe their businesses can remain competitive in the next five years “with a purely human workforce”.

Business decision makers were also broadly positive. In fact, 87 per cent and 75 per cent identified RPA and intelligent automation, respectively, as solutions to “the productivity problem”. And an overwhelming 95 per cent and 94 per cent, respectively, believe RPA and intelligent automation are crucial to “digital transformation”.

‘A new era’

Blue Prism Chief Marketing Officer Chris Bradshaw says that, however disruptive the new technology, it won’t exclude human workers.

“A new wave of economics, driven by automation and artificial intelligence, is emerging across the globe,” he said. “This technology is disruptive, in the most positive sense. It’s changing how organisations view themselves, how they operate and how the people that drive them live and work.

“As we enter a new era of connected RPA, this technology will open doors for the most digitally savvy employees to create and innovate. This is the first technological revolution to place the human at the heart of the creative value chain. This is why it has such exponential potential.”

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