According to a recent survey conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace, a significant majority of workers would rather have a robot boss than a human one. The survey found that that 82% of workers felt that robot managers would be “better at certain tasks,” like maintaining work schedules and keeping an unbiased view of their employees.
Meanwhile, 64% of the workers surveyed said that they would trust a robot more than a human as a boss. In China and India, where AI is more mainstream and already a part of everyday life, that number is close to 90%.
The survey also found that workers were generally optimistic about the coming AI revolution, with more than half of the respondents saying they were excited about having robot co-workers.
A report published by Oracle explained how the survey was conducted.
“Research findings are based on a global survey conducted by Savanta between July 2 to August 9, 2019. In total, 8,370 completed the survey. The study was administered online and fielded in 10 different countries (and in six languages). Permanent full-time employees between the ages 18-74 years old were eligible to participate. The survey targeted HR Leaders, Managers and Employees. Respondents are recruited through a number of different mechanisms, via different sources to join the panels and participate in market research surveys,” the report explained.
It makes sense that most people would prefer a robot manager to a human, because in many workplaces, dealing with the power-tripping boss is the most stressful thing about the day. Experts predict that a human touch is still going to needed to manage employees, but many of them suggest that bosses may actually take a different role in the future workplace. Instead of acting as an authority that keeps people on their toes, the managers of the future may look more like life coaches, who are selected for their empathy and people skills.
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Dan Schawbel, Research Director at Future Workplace says that the bosses of the future will be more focused on soft skills than micromanaging their employees.
“Over the past two years we’ve found that workers have become more optimistic as they’ve adopted AI in the workplace and HR is leading the way. The 2019 study shows that AI is redefining not only the relationship between worker and manager, but also the role of a manager in an AI-driven workplace. Based on the findings, managers will remain relevant in the future if they focus on being human and using their soft skills, while leaving the technical skills and routine tasks to robots,” Schawbel said.
According to a World Economic Forum report on the future of work, up to 75 million jobs could be lost to automation in the next 3 years. Ten years from now that number could be as high as 800 million.
IMAGE CREDIT: Tatiana Shepeleva