The Covid-19 pandemic saw a displacement of the human workforce, with the most affected being the low-skilled workforce. Industries from across the world used robots to take over some of the most tasks raising the question. Are robots putting the human workforce at risk? ILO put the estimate of jobs lost in 2020 due to the pandemic at over 250 million.
Even though the fear of robots taking over most of the tasks carried out by the human workforce dates back to when they first entered the market, the pandemic proved that they could be a threat. With the rise of collaborative robots or (cobots) manufactured by companies such as the Universal Robots, the threat becomes even more realistic.
As alarming as this might sound, studies emphasize that most human jobs will not disappear, but they might change. Robot invasion comes with immense benefits, but it will not and cannot take over all the jobs, as some still need 100% human intervention. However, it is good to know the most likely jobs to become a preserve of a robot to expand your skillset for the tasks that automation cannot do.
Robots will most likely take over the following jobs
Studies emphasize that robots will most likely take complete control of only 5% of jobs across all industries. Therefore even after automation, most jobs will continue to thrive with robots taking over particular tasks. Some of the jobs likely to have a sizeable robotic automation impact are:
One of the latest beneficiaries of automation is the foodservice industry, especially fast-food eateries that focus on efficiency and speed. Robots help customers to place orders, make deliveries, and payments. They also help with repetitive tasks such as food preparation and dishwashing. However, some skills that involve creativity, such as chefs, cooks, waiters, and management positions, will still need humans.
The demand for infrastructure and new buildings is on the rise giving rise to construction jobs. However, some construction jobs are too complex, tasking, or dangerous for humans but suitable for robots. Some of these tasks include demolition, operation of construction equipment, some installations, and repairs. Some functions in construction, such as complex repairs and installations and site management, require humans more than they need robots.
Another recent beneficially to automation is the retail industry, with many large chains automating many of their tasks. The chains use robots to clean the aisles, restocking the shelves, and checking the inventory. The most popular robots in the retail industry are collaborative robots (cobots) that are more flexible than traditional robots and work well alongside people. However, even with automation, some services, such as customer service, still require the human touch.
Even though it sounds most unlikely, robots are taking over many administrative and office support applications that have remained a preserve of the human workforce for many years. Some of the tasks include answering phone calls, appointments bookings, generating periodical reports, and entering data. However, many of the administrative jobs still need human qualities, making them almost impossible to automate.
The manufacturing industry is the largest user of robots. The leading manufacturing sector leading the pack is the automobile industry, which has almost all the applications automated. The tasks include assembling, welding, painting, fabrication, and more. Most of these tasks are predictable, repetitive, and risky for humans. Even though the machines are doing most of the work, there are still applications that robots cannot do without human intervention.
Wrapping it up
Other jobs with increasing robot invasion include insurance underwriting, delivery services, bank cashiers, and others. However, robots cannot replicate specific jobs such as those that require empathy that only humans can provide. It will also be problematic for robots to take control of jobs that require managing other people directly.
The robots might be here with us, and they are not going anywhere any time soon, but they help to augment the human workforce and not drive it away.