Labour and employment have been forever changed by the turn of the decade. During the first half of 2021, nearly 60 percent of the UK workforce engaged in some form of remote work, including part-time and hybrid, according to Finder. This was enabled through the accelerating advancement of disruptive technologies which completely altered the nature of work for millions of people around the globe. Taking full advantage of the manifold uses of artificial intelligence, these technologies have arguably saved many businesses from collapse. But now that the world is starting to open up again, we are faced with the challenge of fitting manpower back into the work philosophy of the new normal.
The Disruptive Tech Trend is Here To Stay
Given that the world had to adapt to nearly two years of minimal personal contact, a lot of new and experimental systems had to be put in place to maintain essential services. Now, we’ve become quite used to some of them. A lot of experimental systems and technologies had to have their development accelerated in order to meet current demand. Foremost among these technologies is automation. Thanks to the need to overcome a lack of onsite manpower, several automation techniques were quickly adapted from the drawing board to material space. This includes such novel contraptions as Vision-Guided Vehicles, which can do simple manual tasks after being “taught” by a human operator.
The vast increase in efficiency brought by new technology is going to be very welcome during a time when economic recovery is crucial. But our increased dependence on them begs the question of what we are going to do with our vast numbers of blue-collar employees. While it is true that some roles can only be filled by a human being, state-of-the-art automation is fast removing the need for more basic jobs, such as inventory management, equipment repair, and even clerk duties. The answer lies in discovering new roles for employees to fulfil.
Master Retraining and Re-Skilling To Save The Workforce
For better or for worse, disruptive technologies are going to change the face of work for good. Too many pandemic solutions have proven to be more effective than traditional methods that it would be poor business sense to go back to the previous way of doing things, especially since the commercial world is just starting to recover from its losses. However, this doesn’t mean that companies are simply going to get rid of the bulk of their workforce in favour of automated solutions. That would be a waste of staff members that have already developed loyalty and familiarity towards them. Instead, experts foresee a great redirection of human resources towards higher-skill jobs.
This will involve retraining existing employees, helping them obtain new skill sets that are compatible with a more automated world. This was predicted and prepared for even before the pandemic, and thus we can expect to see a widespread shift in job titles and responsibilities soon. We’re already starting to see the beginnings of this shift. For example, looking good for a video call has become the next evolution of fine-tuning one’s work wardrobe. This has become a greater point of focus even among blue-collar workers. That reflects our new reality wherein things are shifting away from in-person work to a more efficient hybrid system between remote and onsite work.
The Pros And Cons of Shifting to Disruptive Tech
Many people, employee and employer alike, are uneasy about the changing nature of work. However, this trend of technological disruption does bring numerous advantages. For one thing, it has opened the floodgates for further innovation to occur. Now that automation has become much more accepted, more resources are being poured into researching further and more practical applications. It also gives us the perfect opportunity to start thinking up schemes to retrain and re-skill the employees that would become displaced by automation and other disruptive technologies.
In business, this translates to more rapid and effective growth than ever before. With technology to form the backbone of a business’ support structure, it can easily handle the stresses and growing pains of rapid and steady expansion. On the macro scale, this equates to a much more stable economy. However, the brisk rate at which we embrace disruptive tech in order to fill the gap left by raw manpower bears its own risks. We give little time for the technologies to mature, and thus we face all of their experimental kinks, performance problems, and unforeseen consequences for their use. Quality testing, further development, and the pace at which we adopt disruptive tech definitely need improving in the years to come.
Businesses large and small stand to benefit from the speedy and stable growth that disruptive tech offers. With the help of professional advisors, they can easily achieve the needed balance between employee welfare and making full use of this new wave of revolutionary technology.