Mitigating labour shortages through automation
An answer to worker shortage can be automation, being especially helpful at performing repetitive or physically demanding jobs. Automation-based worker support can thus free up time for humans to learn new skills, take on higher responsibilities, or simply concentrate their resources.
Theconversation.com collected many studies which show that not only costs can be reduced by automation, but also efficiency, quality of work and productivity can be increased. Critics, however, argue that advancements in technology might lead to an "hourglass economy". There are fears that only highly and lowly skilled workers profit from the trend, while semi-skilled workers are forced to either adapt their skill set or settle for lower-waged tasks.
The impact of automation on workplaces can only be assessed on the long run. Over time, we will see if the gains in productivity, flexibility and resilience can outweigh the demographic stress that automation might cause.
For the automation of physical labour, the use of robots is gaining momentum as we speak. At hub.berlin 2022, Christian Piechnick, Co-Founder & CEO of Wandelbots, discussed ways to teach robots repetitive tasks more efficiently.