There have undoubtedly been changes in the workplace in the past decade. Technology has made significant advances that has changed not only the workplace, but society in general.
Technology has become the norm in our lives and has changed the way we communicate, form relationships, and complete daily tasks.
Will technology advance even further in the next few years, affecting the human workforce?
How The Workforce Has Changed
Gone are the days of leaving the office at 5pm and not seeing an email or getting a phone call until the next day. There’s little use of a fax machine and minimal use of paper in the office these days.
In fact, if you go more than a few hours without answering your email, people might start finding other ways to get in touch with you, just to make sure you’re ok (how dare you take an actual lunch break and NOT return any messages!)
In today’s workforce, technology has sped up the way we do things in and out of the office. Employees are more accessible than ever before, and can easily work on the go or from home.
However, due to recent news regarding the Department Of Labor’s final ruling on the 2016 overtime laws, will the workforce be changing again? This law will extend overtime pay to 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.
Technology has played a huge role in how employees communicate. The workforce seemed to finally be adapting to more of a work/life balance and accommodating those employees who prefer a flex schedule or work-from-home hours. However, with the new mandated law, all of these perks may be costing the employer money and may soon come to an end.
Using Technology To Replace Humans
It may sound crazy: technology replacing humans in the workforce. Could it be true?
Due to the new overtime regulations, some employers are considering replacing their workers with technology. Technology (depending on what’s needed) may cost a pretty penny, but overall it’s cheaper than paying an employee the new minimum wage or a year’s salary.
Who’s the first to do it?
Fast food employees may be the first in jeopardy of losing their jobs. The rise in hourly wages is forcing employers to cut down on staff. It seems McDonald’s, Panera, and Wendy’s are all participating in adding kiosks to some of their locations.
This will allow for customers to place their own orders, cutting down on crowded lines, and improving order accuracy.
Can this become an instant solution and spread like wildfire to other industries?
It’s possible. It’s been reported that half of all U.S. employed workers will be replaced by technology within the next decade or so. White House economists are even forecasting that employees making less than $20 per hour will be replaced by automation.
Will This Help Or Hurt The U.S. Creation Of Jobs
The idea of technology or software of any kind replacing human jobs is terrifying. However, it’s still undetermined how much it will affect the U.S. It’s possible that new jobs will emerge to help keep the technology and software up to date, current, and continuing to work.
What Employees Need To Know
Right now, it’s too early to tell if technology will soon replace a majority of human workers. There are plenty of jobs that cannot be automated and still need men and women to get the job done. Right now, the White House believes educating and training on what types of jobs can be created for those replaced by technology will help the economy be prepared for what’s to come.