- They believe that these investments will be focused on IT (61%) and operations (49%)
- Over one-third (38%) of respondents believe that their jobs will eventually be taken over by automation and AI
|Source: Kelly Services infographic. APAC workforces expect more automation and AI initiatives at the workplace.|
Singapore-based employees anticipate that their companies will be increasing investment in automation or artificial intelligence (AI) over the next two years, but are not too concerned that these new technologies will take over their jobs anytime soon, according to the PERSOLKELLY 2019 Q4 APAC Workforce Insights.
Singapore-based employees think automation and AI will become more common in the workplace. Two-fifths (41%) believe their companies will continue to invest in automation or AI within the next two years, and that it will be directed towards IT (61%) and operations (49%). They welcome these new technologies, with more than half (57%) agreeing that automation and AI are needed in their companies.
Overall, most employees are satisfied with the automated processes (71%) and AI programmes (66%) that are currently present in their workplace.
“Organisations in Singapore are embracing automation and artificial intelligence, with support from the government through the Smart Nation initiative. According to our report, organisations are implementing more of these new technologies across their businesses – from internal engagement to supply chain, resulting in a positive uplift in their businesses,” said Foo See Yang, MD and Country Head, Singapore at Kelly Services.
A majority (62%) of employees do not think that they will be displaced by these new technologies. Two-thirds (67%) believe that less than 25% of the workforce will be displaced by automation or AI. While 62% say these new technologies are better than humans at simple tasks, only 35% say they are better at complex decisions, giving humans the advantage.
“Despite this integration with the workforce, Singapore-based employees are not too worried that it will replace their jobs as they see how these technologies can help them perform better at work. Rather, they are concerned about having to learn new skills to keep up in this digital economy. Therefore, not only do companies need to better integrate these technologies to realise its benefits, they need to ensure employees are exposed to and able to adopt new skills,” Foo added.
Employers can also benefit from these overall positive sentiments. According to the report, employees who have access to automation or AI are more likely to be satisfied with their companies, as compared to those with no access to these technologies:
- More than half (57%) of respondents believe that automation and AI are needed in their companies.
- A similar proportion (55%) of employees feel that it is worthwhile to be spending on automation and AI.
- Close to half of Singapore-based respondents (46%) and more than a third (35%) have indicated that the availability of automated processes and AI is important in their choice of company.
The presence of automation and AI in a company will result in increased employee satisfaction, but to ensure that employees remain happy, employers need to address any concerns that their workers may have, Kelly Services advises. More than one-third (38%) say automation and AI can perform their current jobs better than them and will take over their jobs in the future. Employers can alleviate these concerns and ensure higher levels of employee satisfaction through properly integrating their employees with automation and AI, the company said.
PERSOLKELLY outlines a Total Integration Framework to promote the integration of workers with automation and AI in the workplace. The framework outlines tangible measures for companies to introduce and familiarise their employees to automation and AI. View the PERSOLKELLY 2019 Q4 APAC Workforce Insights infographic here (PDF)