Automation in the Workplace – Part II – Pros & Cons

Every industry has the opportunity to automate at least some of their processes, since sales, marketing, and human resource applications are fairly universal. Some industries are more suited for robotic automation than others, and they will be most impacted by this rising tide of progress. Such industries include (Robotics & Automation News):

Health and Medicine

Especially in the surgical realm, robotic processes are being used to perform procedures with greater precision and minimal incisions.

Law Enforcement

In law enforcement, robots can be used to clear mines, defuse and dispose of explosives, perform search and rescue functions, and engage in intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance.

Agriculture & Food Service

Robots can perform tasks like weeding, planting, watering, fertilizing, and transporting products.  And, AI can be used in food processing functions.


Self-driving cars and self-flying planes are key indicators of how automation has already impacted the transportation industry, and that technology is still in relatively early stages. Additionally, AI and robotics are utilized in every aspect of quality control, from design and testing to detecting and fixing faults.


Manufacturing was the first industry to lean into automation, think about Henry Ford and his assembly lines, and it is still heavily impacted by automated technologies. Manufacturing automation takes over repetitive, boring, or dangerous tasks and applies nuanced solutions that can be more efficient than unskilled labor.

Automation is the wave of the present and the future, and it continues to advance and make companies more efficient. Before starting an automation takeover, make sure you have a good grasp of the benefits and drawbacks (Emeritus).


  • Increased Employee EngagementPeople don’t like doing repetitive, boring, or dangerous tasks. Automation frees them up to do more interesting, challenging, and rewarding work.
  • Consistent, Timely Output – Automation removes human delays and disruptions from time-sensitive tasks.
  • Fewer Errors – Humans make mistakes, and although mechanical and software solutions also have bugs, they still reduce the potential for errors.
  • Enhanced Growth and Scalability – Rachel Hastings, of online education platform Emeritus, says, “Certain types of automation allow businesses […] to grow and scale with lower associated operating costs, since fewer additional workers are needed to complete manual processes.”

Sounds great, right? In many ways it is, but to keep a balanced viewpoint, consider the following drawbacks:


  • Implementation Costs – These costs include software licenses, configuration and rollout, ongoing maintenance, and costs related to employee training, software monitoring and support, and more. 
  • Employee Role Shifts – Research reveals that highly-automated organizations need fewer managers because automated processes require less oversight. It also predicts that automation surges will increase the demand for high- and low-skilled workers but decrease the need for middle-skilled workers. 
  • Re-Skilling and Re-Training – As automation increases, employees need upskilling and reskilling to thrive. While the demand for literacy and numeracy skills may decrease, the demand for tech skills will almost undoubtedly rise (McKinsey & Company). Additionally, soft skills like communication and teamwork will be more valuable than ever because automation can’t duplicate them.

Reskilling and up-skilling employees is easier to manage in a virtual environment.  Jigsaw Interactive is the only solution that gives a traditional classroom with multiple engagement and hands on learning opportunities while tracking what and how each participant does.

Make sure you check out the next article where we’ll talk more about workplace automation’s employment implications.