Robots are welcome co-workers, research finds

1 min read

With employers struggling to find people with the right skills, industrial workers are increasingly seeing the benefits of working with robots to improve productivity and relieve the pressures they are under, according to research from Epicor Software Corporation.

The study, which questioned around 2,500 business respondents in 14 countries, found that staff are aware of the many benefits of working alongside robots. Over half (54%) say robots automate repetitive or mundane work that they would otherwise have to do themselves, and 34% say that robots are more efficient than humans in the workplace.

And it’s not just their efficiency that makes robots attractive co-workers, as a quarter (27%) cited the fact that robots do not get involved in office politics as a benefit of working with machines.

Additional findings show that the industrial workforce is getting older, and that only a quarter (23%) of businesses are currently able to attract recruits with the right knowledge.

Epicor says that the use of robots can introduce efficiencies where human resource is low, and they can also encourage young talent into industry – with 33% of millennials wanting to work at the cutting edge of new developments. It adds that other research backs up the discovery that rather than being worried about job losses, workers are actually ready and willing to embrace robot co-workers.

Terri Hiskey, vice president, product marketing, manufacturing, at Epicor said: “The study shows us that the use of robots is a very real, but also very welcome way of solving an otherwise worrying industry-wide knowledge and skills gap.

“With employers struggling to find candidates with the right skills or knowledge for entry-level roles, and with employees struggling to keep up with the pressures of business growth, automating aspects of the workforce offers a new way of building efficiencies into the supply chain, and enabling digital transformation. However, businesses need the right infrastructure at their heart if they are to manage data flows effectively and to make the most of robotics and AI. This is where ERP and the cloud come into their own.

“Far from workers worrying about their jobs being taken by robots, our study shows that employees are actually very happy to work alongside machines. With all the advantages of robots not getting involved in office politics too, we can expect to see more of this in the future.”

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