Factories rely on automation to lift the burden of dull, dangerous, and dirty work off human shoulders. Some of those humans worry that they’ll lose their jobs — and admittedly, some already have. But new research is finding that once it’s in place, automation increases happiness.
Money, not manufacturing
Some recent research has nothing to do with manufacturing. McKinsey looked at automation in financial services, which is a field that is considered open to automation, but where it hasn’t settled in as it has in manufacturing.
McKinsey concluded that 42% of current financial services tasks could be entirely automated, and another 19% could be partially automated.
In another study, Tradeshift compared financial services companies that went in for a lot of automation with those that hadn’t yet made the leap. They found that workers were frustrated when they had to do a lot of dull, repetitive tasks. This was in fact the top reason for unhappiness with their jobs. They were happy when they were able to offload those jobs to their mechanical counterparts. They got to keep interesting strategic work like business development, and more than 60% said they were happier with those jobs automated.
By some measures, as much as 85% of the U.S. respondents were happy with their work. The U.S. companies were more highly automated than those in the other nations studied.
An Australian study found that satisfaction among workers at highly automated finance teams was cumulative. Happiness about automation spread from one worker to another. Once again, a top reason for increased happiness was the ability to spend more time on challenging strategic tasks.
Back to manufacturing
We’re more used to automation in manufacturing, but there may be ways that automation can keep factory workers happier, too, that you haven’t yet noticed.
Certainly, taking on repetitive tasks makes robots valuable. However, more automation also limits errors. Limiting errors limits the amount of time workers get snapped at or yelled at, and encourages more positive interactions.
Automating that awareness can be just as valuable as tracking the need for maintenance on your machinery.
Increased productivity can allow workers to approach their jobs in a more relaxed way and to use time more creatively. It worked for financial services, and it could work in your facility, too.
When you need service and support for your Indramat motion control systems, let us be your first call. Automation increases happiness — but not when it fails. We’re Indramat specialists, and we can have you back up and running fast.