Automation of many jobs is inevitable. The coronavirus pandemic will only accelerate it

SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, in addition to being a threat to our lives, is also dangerous for the labor market. Due to the protracted period of social isolation, more and more companies are deciding to increase investment in work automation.

Someone will say: but for what, after all, we switched to the remote work model, you do not need to automate anything. Not completely. Let's look at the situation in our country, for example. A study published by GFK Polonia shows that only 17 percent Instead of putting up in their workplace every day, Poles changed the scenery into a home office.

In many industries, such a change is impossible, which of course results in 51 percent. Poles still appear at work. At least for now. The Lewiatan Confederation report shows that due to the coronavirus pandemic and its slowdown in the economy, 69 percent Polish companies are already planning to dismiss some of their employees. In the United States, this crisis has already resulted in record numbers of applications for unemployment benefits.

Many experts say that there is a period of huge recession during which those entrepreneurs who stay on the market will try to minimize costs in every possible way.

Over 40% enterprises focuses on automation

This number comes from the report prepared by the EY company . I would like to draw your attention to the fact that data on entrepreneurial sentiment was collected in 45 countries, which gives us a pretty good picture of the global situation. 41 percent people in managerial positions (from a group of 2,900 respondents) answered that their company was increasing investment in solutions that automate activities for which human staff was responsible up to now.

The jobs that are most at risk are those that require minimal qualifications. Anyway, before the outbreak of the pandemic, we could see how quickly retail sales are automating. Self-service checkouts, Amazon Go self-service store experiments, and McDonald's orders processed by a computer are a foretaste of what awaits us in the future.

And this is closer than experts predicted until recently. OECD analyzes, published before the discovery of the virus, spread the vision of a gradually automating economy over the next 15-20 years. Ultimately, this process was to globally reduce the number of jobs by around 14 percent. and radically change the nature of 32 percent. all others. How will this process speed up in the current situation? It is far too early to answer this question.

Automation in Poland

OECD experts have so far limited to assessing the possible degree of automation for a given country. The analyzes concerning our country show that 19.8 percent jobs in our market belong to the high risk group when it comes to their full automation. Another 30.6 percent belongs to the group of significant risk.

The worst scenario, from the point of view of employees, therefore assumes that over half of the current jobs in Poland can be automated. However, this statistics is a bit misleading because it does not include new jobs that will be created to support the entire automation process.

As for the EY report, let's remember that it was based on the management's declaration for now. That 41 percent company representatives talking about increasing spending on work automation does not mean that all these declarations will be turned into deeds.

Nevertheless, we can already speak of a noticeable trend and plans of enterprises that are increasingly focusing on work automation. The pandemic has certainly accelerated this process.

The only question is whether such acceleration will not reveal a whole bunch of wrong decisions caused by hasty and too fast automation and the labor market completely unprepared for this change. Well, but we will get answers to these questions in a few months. For now, the only thing we can do is closely follow the forecasts and predictions of analysts for this interesting time.

Automation of many jobs is inevitable. The coronavirus pandemic will only accelerate it


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