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Can automation create more humane workplaces ?

According to a new study, companies that invest in augmented workplaces, whether in robotic process automation (APR) or artificial intelligence (AI), get much higher yields and more humane workplaces.

This report, produced by Goldsmiths of the University of London, is based on interviews with 400 heads of large companies, scientists, engineers and other experts from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and from India, working in three business sectors:

the insurance;
the making.
The interviews are also supported by the results of a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the effect of automation on workplaces.

According to this document, and contrary to what one might think, these technologies amplify the human experience and reinforce the link between employee learning, growth and organizational performance.

The researchers found that in augmented workplaces:

workers feel 38% more engaged in their work than their competitors who do not work in augmented environments;
70% of respondents said that an increased work environment has improved the team’s well-being;
80% of artificial intelligence users and 78% of those who use the APR claim that it frees employees from their repetitive tasks. This point is considered crucial to understand how automation makes people happier at work.
What is a more humane workplace? According to the study, a job becomes more humane when employees are freed from repetitive tasks that create little value to focus on more creative and strategic elements that add value to their work.

The researchers also found that the benefits of automation can only be realized when the company makes the conscious decision to implement technologies to enhance the skills of employees to complement their work. According to the study, companies that set up increased workplaces while investing in their human resources:

have an overall performance 28% higher than that of their competitors who have not adopted the same practices;
have a financial performance 31% higher than that of their competitors who have not adopted the same practices;
are 30% more likely to prioritize strategic goals.
The authors make some recommendations for companies in the conclusion of the report, including the following two, so that they can begin the automation process that will give them a competitive advantage:

Perform an audit of work processes: Before introducing automation, it is important to list the tasks performed in a company. Workflow auditing creates a catalog of tasks to analyze and optimize.
Choose which tasks to automate: After auditing workflows, determine where employees perform repetitive tasks; these are the most likely to be automated.

Source : Economie, Science et Innvoation newsletter

Credit photo : Avantages

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