Between the lines: Technology is not stealing our jobs - it enhances them

Technology can boost employee satisfaction and make the workplace environment positive and healthy, says Lessels. Picture: Chris Watt
Technology can boost employee satisfaction and make the workplace environment positive and healthy, says Lessels. Picture: Chris Watt
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We’ve all seen the headlines: “Robots are stealing our jobs” and “AI will put you out of work”. It’s evident that many people are growing increasingly concerned that technology is creating job instability and will eventually render the human workforce obsolete.

Fortune’s annual Brainstorm Tech conference conducted a survey and found that 72 per cent of participants perceived that AI could take away more jobs than it creates over a ten-year period. However, while many roles may have to evolve, the reality is that technology actually supports workers and helps manage their ever-growing workloads.

Many are calling the current technological surge the next Industrial Revolution, and just like those before, we will come out stronger with help from innovation. Once upon a time, the typewriter was an invention that disrupted the writing process, ultimately making it easier. Then came computers and keyboards, simplifying the activity even more. Technology is not stealing our jobs – it’s enhancing our ability to do those jobs.

The average employee spends a third of their working year, more than 600 hours, on admin alone. Highly regulated industries such as law and human resources can spend even more time on paperwork. Technology can diminish the time spent on these manual processes, freeing up capacity to do work that requires more of a human touch.

Decreased administrative workloads as a result of digitalisation make employees much more productive, and even less stressed. It can help reduce the monotony of the day, boosting employee satisfaction and making the workplace environment positive and healthy.

The idea that technology can assist rather than hinder workers is central to HotDocs. Our automated document assembly software works with employees to ensure that no one has to recreate a specific template or document over and over again.

Automation also helps minimise risk in the workplace because there is much less room for human error. In addition, project management or collaboration tools can assist businesses by streamlining communication and making organisation simpler.

Businesses of all kinds, from global corporations to small businesses and start-ups, deal with complicated legal contracts on a regular basis. Sophisticated software can make sure that wording and clauses are consistent throughout. By freeing workers from the burden of manually navigating these regulatory minefields, they can focus their time and energy on the job at hand.

Embracing technology is the key to success and longevity in our current economy. It’s time to put away the fear of automation and digitalisation in the workplace, and instead use them to our advantage.

- Gary Lessels, general manager at HotDocs