The breakneck pace of emerging technologies is changing business-as-usual in almost every industry. While in some cases, it could cost jobs, in others, it only serves to augment or assist current positions, according to one workplace authority.
“When it comes to technology in the workplace, people tend to be a bit uncomfortable. New tech requires more training, and a shift in thinking, which some workers and employers alike find difficult,” said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
“New technologies will no doubt disrupt a number of industries and cause increased hiring and downsizing,” said Challenger.
Below are five industries where technology is bringing disruption.
Retailers are also working to incorporate more technology into their businesses. Retailers can revamp their map system, translate “shopping lists” to an app format, and even allow returns to be processed electronically. These make shopping easier for customers, and leave employees with more time to utilize the information from newly implemented robots, which are able to point out issues, take photos, and help find items.
“Retail is going through a major pivot right now, which has cost thousands of jobs and brick-and-mortar locations. However, as stores make shopping easier and more efficient with the implementation of new technologies, an increase in jobs – especially those that require tech skills – are sure to follow,” said Challenger.
The most recent Challenger tracking shows that since the beginning of 2018, retailers have announced 69,316 job cuts. Since January 2017, retailers have closed over 11,000 stores.
Auto makers have traditionally been huge job creators with high wages and good benefits. Now, major automotive companies are attempting to attract and retain high-tech talent as they turn toward automated and electronic vehicles.
“The demand for autonomous and more energy-efficient cars is creating a lot of high-tech jobs in this space that weren’t there before,” said Challenger.
Fast food companies are embracing technology as a way to serve customers in a quicker and more efficient way. Many locations are adding flat-screen panels to restaurants to help employees make orders more accurately by showing order ingredients and printing orders. It will also allow more orders to be placed, potentially requiring more shifts and more jobs.
One major issue with hospitals is the potential for prescription errors for patients. Hospital patrons trust doctors and nurses to give them the right doses and to provide the best possible care, but mistakes can happen and have severe consequences. According to an article published by Hippocratic Post, the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust chose to implement new technology to automate their medication management. Specifically, cabinets were put in wards which automated medication dispensing and had much more advanced security in place. This technology not only reduced waste, but freed up time for nurses to interact more often with patients and greatly improve the quality of care.
According to an article published by Architectural Record, Manhattan based architecture firm Ennead created a program that has the potential to help immensely with university planning. The program, designed by Enneads applied-computing team, tracks where students and faculty go throughout the day on campus, collecting data on foot traffic and people-flow patterns. This program has the potential to help architects better utilize space and plan campuses and urban spaces in the future.