Half of UK workers relaxed about the rise of robots, believing artificial intelligence will help them work more flexibly

 
William Turvill
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Robots and humans can be friends in the workplace, says Adecco (Source: Getty)

The robots are coming, and nearly half of workers will welcome them with open arms.

Some 48 per cent of employees surveyed by Adecco Group think artificial intelligence (AI) will positively benefit them by helping them work more flexibly.

Two-thirds (65 per cent) think technology has increased the number of jobs available to them. And 54 per cent said they believe robots will create more jobs than they destroy over the next 10 years.

Read more: Prepare economies now for job-killing robots, IMF urges governments

For the report, “Humans vs Robots”, 1,000 board-level and senior decision-makers were surveyed, as well as more than 1,000 workers in 13 sectors across the UK.

Most (87 per cent) said they think computers will make their role easier within the next 10 years and, of these, 57 per cent think their jobs can be made “a lot” easier.

“In many ways, robots could enhance careers rather than destroy them,” said Carl Benedikt Frey, co-director of Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment.

The introduction of automation in the workplace will usher in a time where our jobs will become more creative and involve more social interaction. Although robots will render some occupations obsolete, as technology has in the past, humans and robots will also complement each other in many tasks, creating new types of jobs.

Read more: Men are much more likely to use a robot doctor than women

Adecco UK MD Alex Fleming said:

Far from the widespread fear that automation will make employees redundant, our research shows that the workplace of the future could create opportunities for more flexible and fulfilling work.

Many organisations and employees are buying into the idea of flexible working, but struggling to implement the reality. Our research suggests that robots could be a significant part of the solution.

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