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article imageMost U.S. workers say employers haven’t discussed automation

By Tim Sandle     Nov 27, 2019 in Technology
In October 2019 SYKES surveyed working adults across the U.S. to uncover their perceptions of and beliefs about the future of work. The poll included views on automation, and this found that many firms do not have an automation strategy in place.
The SYKES poll posed 17 questions to 1, 500 people who are currently working, across a range of industries. These ranged from how many people they know who have faced job loss due to automation, if any automation programs have saved them time at work this year, what they're doing to stay current with the changes in workplace tech, how their employers are preparing them for the future of work, and more.
The survey looked at attitudes of workers to the coming of robots into the workplace. Contrary to many media headlines, the survey found that U.S. workers were less fearful of the age of automation than popularly portrayed. U.S. workers are apparently less worried about automated technologies in the workplace, with some two-thirds of those surveyed drawing a positive connotation with intelligent automation-related terminology.
Breaking the figures down further, Millennials had the strongest pro-automation attitude compared with any other demographic group. In terms of geography, those residing in western parts of the U.S. also boasted the strongest responses to automation.
Following on from this the survey questioned whether any person had ever lost a job due to automation. Here the survey results showed that majority of workers have never lost a job due to new automation technologies at their workplace (just 5 percent indicated they have faced job loss).
This contrasted with a 2018 Fortune poll which showed 72 percent of industry leaders seeing AI taking away more jobs than it creates in 10 years.
However, in many sectors the rate of automation was assessed as slow, with many sectors remaining open to automation and for the application of artificial intelligence. In relation to this, less than a quarter of those polled said they had ever had discussions about the potential impact of automation technologies at their workplace.
More about Automation, Work, working practices, Robotics
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