Survey: Most US Employees See Themselves Working with Technology, Rather than Being Replaced by It

Staff Report

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Four out of five US workers believe technology will change the way they do their job over the next three years, as they see themselves working alongside technology, rather than being replaced by it, according to a recent survey on the future of work by leading data and analytics company GlobalData. 

Most US employees surveyed confirmed that in most of their jobs, technology can do some, but not all, of the work. This suggests that the future of work will see technology augment workers, rather than replace them. 

AI was chosen by 37% of US respondents when asked what technologies they thought would change the way they do their job over the next three years.

Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Research at GlobalData, commented: "Technology is increasingly being used to augment people's jobs by handling the more repetitive job functions, giving employees time to tackle the more complex or judgement-based parts of their role. That, perhaps, explains why people are more optimistic than pessimistic about the future."

Only 21% of respondents said they were worried about their future employment, and only 23% believe that between 81% and 100% of their job could be performed by technology.

Technologies other than AI that are also changing the way people do their jobs include collaboration tools such as Zoom, Slack, Teams, Skype and Trello; robotic process automation (RPA); wearable tech; and augmented reality. Collaboration tools were identified by 25% of respondents as having the capability to change their job, while 21% named RPA, which is used to automate transactional back-office processes, as a technology that will impact their job.

Mewawalla added: "The future of work is a key theme for US businesses and these poll findings reflect how peoples' working future is being created and enabled by technology - both in the short-term, post COVID-19 and long-term.

"Over the last five months of the COVID-19 crisis, it is the use of technologies such as collaboration tools and cloud computing that has helped people keep working and enabled their companies to stay afloat. GlobalData's poll suggests most employees believe that the future will see them working alongside technology, rather than being replaced by it."