Robotisation is the process by which more and more work is performed by robots. Although robots have been making their appearance in companies for some time, only a relatively small proportion of all workers are dealing with robots in the workplace.
The impact of robots is expected to increase over the next decade. This applies to industrial robots deployed in production environments, but also to service robots, such as logistics robot systems in warehouses and distribution centres, inspection robots, operating robots in hospitals or at farms.
Effects and opportunities
One of the effects of robotisation will be the disappearance of low-skilled work. This type of work will become less challenging and less varied. For workers who are unable to ‘upskill’ to other work for the long term, it is key to look at redeployed opportunities; finding suitable work, a reasonable income and a meaningful existence. The expectation is, there is a great demand for technical personnel at all levels. Higher educated people in particular will seem to benefit in future from increasing robotisation.
At the same time, the use of robots also offers opportunities from a social perspective. Robotisation can offer solutions to future social problems, such as the increasing aging population. By deploying robots, productivity can be maintained even with a declining labour force.
The use of professional service robots can also make the work safer or less demanding for employees. It also offers opportunities for employees with physical disabilities to take on work that they were previously unable to do.
Insights and knowledge of robots in the workplace
So far, little research has been done on how robots will affect the workload of employees and the extent to which they experience their work as meaningful. By gaining knowledge in the coming years, more insights can be gained to review the possibilities of robotisation from a business perspective, but also from the social perspective. With this, new programs and investments in quality work in the future will be of benefit for employees, companies and thus the society.