A study from Redwood Software and Sapio Research released October 4th revealed that IT leaders believe automation could impact 60% of businesses by 2022 and threaten jobs in the process. Now, a new, separate report from PwC, the second biggest professional services firm worldwide, suggests a similar timeline; one in which people may need to practice and learn new skills — or be left behind as automation takes over.
The report, titled Workforce of the Future, surveyed 10,000 people across China, India, Germany, the UK, and the U.S. to “better understand the future of work.” Of those, nearly 37% think artificial intelligence and robotics will put their jobs at risk; in 2014, 33% had a similar concern.
As of March 2017, PwC reports about 38% of U.S. jobs are at risk of being affected by automation by the early 2030s, with Germany closely behind at 35%; the UK at 30%; and Japan at 21%. These reports are interesting to me because this is an industry I used to work in. And it is true isn’t it – we are surrounded by the evidence of automation everywhere; cashless transactions; machines instead of people (London Underground); online shopping; online customer services where we type the conversation rather than having to speak to someone. We are more “connected” by technology but more disconnected than ever before.
What has this got to do with World Mental Health Day? Well, the last time I looked no human I know is a robot, a bit quirky some of them but they’re still human – same for you? Automation in the workplace may be the future but never forget that people buy from people they know like and trust. The one skill that always seems to be overlooked and undervalued in all of these reports is the skill of communication. The simple ability to smile, say hello and ask someone how their day is.
We have no way of knowing what is going on in the mind of anyone that we meet or what struggles they have. So if you’re feeling rather vulnerable when you read reports like these and also wonder what on earth your kids are going to do – remember you are human and you have the ability to be kind. Smile, say good morning and teach your kids to do the same. The simple act of saying good morning helps build trust and confidence and reminds us that we are all human. Today on World Mental Health Day make it your one task to smile and ask how someone is and if you can’t think of what to say, just be kind. You have no idea how you might change their day.
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