Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageMillennials think automation will create 'sterile' workplaces

By James Walker     Aug 24, 2017 in Technology
Millennials have mixed opinions on automation of the workplace. A new survey has found millennials recognise the positive impact that automation could have. They're also aware that human roles will be put at risk, leading to machine-dominant workspaces.
Millennials are generally optimistic about the future of business, according to the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey. Analysis of the data shows millennials worldwide are ready to accept the reality of workplace automation. However, the coming digital transformation of the workplace still carries a notable element of fear.
The survey respondents said they expect automation will drive industrial and economic growth in the future of work. 62 percent indicated a positive sentiment for automation's impact on overall productivity, compared to just 9 percent who believe it will get worse.
Millennials are also welcoming the idea of having more time to focus on creative activities. This is a talking point that tech companies are already using to sell automation products. When the tedious elements of jobs are handled by machines, people will have more time left over to focus on meaningful work and self-education.
Millennial sentiments on automation
Millennial sentiments on automation
READ NEXT: Airlines are embracing digital transformation
These findings show millennials are appreciative of the automation goals being pitched by tech firms. Still, they're not welcoming the machines with open arms. The majority of survey respondents also expressed strong negative sentiments around the use of automation in the workplace. The concerns were centred around personal job loss and the wider impact on teamwork.
51 percent said they'll need to retrain and take on a different role. 36 percent said they expect the number of jobs in their field to decrease. In the wider workplace, 53 percent of people said offices will become "sterile and impersonal" as a consequence of automation. This was the highest proportion of negative sentiment for any area in the study.
Deloitte found some interesting trends inside the data. Millennials who actively use social media are more likely to view automation positively than those who do not. More broadly, it's millennials in developed countries who are the most pessimistic about the future. Those in emerging markets tend to have more enthusiasm for future working environments.
Social media users are more likely to be enthusiastic about automation
Social media users are more likely to be enthusiastic about automation
READ NEXT: Majority of CEOs concerned about digital transformation
"Our survey shows how millennials recognize the obvious potential benefits of automation in terms of productivity and economic growth; they also see it providing opportunities for value-added or creative activities, or the learning of new skills," said Deloitte. "In many respects, therefore, automation could be regarded as a route via which, if they adapt accordingly, millennials (and other employees) can increase their influence within organizations rather than see it diminished."
On the surface, the survey seems to confirm many of the longest running ideas about the automated future. Millennials are cognisant of the benefits the bots could bring, both in terms of individual time saving and global economic gains. There remain lingering concerns about job losses and the environment in which people will work.
Tech companies are succeeding in selling automation based on productivity improvements. They may need to shift towards adding a personal touch too, avoiding the sterilisation of the workplace. Millennials are interested in automation but don't want to be subservient to machines.
More about Automation, digital transformation, Robots, digital workplace, future tech
Latest News
Top News