​Automation in the Aussie workplace - friend or foe?

​Automation in the Aussie workplace - friend or foe?

How will artificial intelligence (AI) and automation impact the workplace within the next 10 years?

Over half Australians believe their job will be impacted by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation within the next 10 years, as new technologies threaten the future of the workplace across the country.

According to research from recruitment specialists Hays Australia, 52 percent of Australians remain convinced their role will be shaped by emerging technologies, with 27 percent on the fence and 21 percent confident the status quo will remain.

But is AI and automation a friend or foe for Australian workers?

“Automation and artificial intelligence has already begun to impact a diverse range of workplaces and jobs, from automated self-service checkouts in retail stores to assembly lines in manufacturing plants,” Hays Australia managing director, Nick Deligiannis, added.

“But with automation and AI replacing or taking over manual and repetitive tasks, this will leave employees free to focus on the non-routine and more advanced aspects of their job.

“There’s also the possibility that robots and AI could be used as another tool to help us do our job better, rather than replace us. In this context, automation could be viewed as an enabler, helping us to be more efficient.”

For Deligiannis, this makes continuous up-skilling key to remaining relevant in the job market of the future, but it’s not only technical or hard skills Australians will need to focus on.

“When we look at the skills automation is taking over, they are usually hard or technical skills,” he added. “Soft skills are a lot more difficult to automate or outsource.

“So it is soft skills that will add to your value in the years ahead. This includes communication, team work, adaptability, creative thinking and relationship building skills.

“With employers already looking closely at candidates’ soft skills, it seems the value of the human touch is growing even greater in an automated world of work.”

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