Human employers and employees are embracing their future robotic colleagues, but fears are rife about loss of human connection in the workplace, according to a report by Metlife.
Automation in the workplace – looking at technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, collaboration tools and robots – was viewed positively by a majority of employers and almost half of workers, but there is still worry over the loss of human touch.
The study found that 56% of employers have a positive view of automation technologies that can help them do human jobs, compared with 49% of workers have a positive view.
Workers are more pessimistic (24%) compared to 20% of employers, and 51% of employers and 46% of employees worry that the workplace is becoming less human.
The survey by Metlife included an employer portion of 2,501 interviews with benefits decision makers at companies with at least two employees, and an employee portion of 2,653 interviews with full time employees aged 21 or over.
Interestingly, men were more optimistic than women at 54% vs. 43%, and millennials were more optimistic than any other age groups.
“While automation is the next workplace frontier, the biggest fear is that work is losing its human touch, likely due to unmet needs for personalisation and recognition,” Todd Katz, executive vice president of group benefits at Metlife said.
“Employers who are able to balance their – and their employees’ desire for innovation through automation, while creating great work experiences, will be tomorrow’s talent leaders.”