Employers unprepared for automation challenge – Willis Towers Watson

Automation in the workplace, including the use of AI and robotics, is predicted to surge in the next three years, yet few HR functions are fully prepared to address the organisational challenges this presents, including the likely greater reliance on ‘contingent’ talent. This is a primary finding of new research from Willis Towers Watson’s Global Future of Work survey, which predicts 22% of work will be accounted for by AI and robots in the next three years, compared with 12% of current work.

Less than 7% of participants in the research say their HR functions are fully prepared for the changing requirements of digitalisation, although on average, around a third are ‘somewhat’ prepared and have already taken action to identify the emerging skills required for their business.

George Zarkadakis, Digital Lead for Willis Towers Watson’s talent and reward practice, says:

‘UK companies clearly see work automation gaining momentum, with little signs of slowing down anytime soon. The implications for HR and talent strategies are immediate. On one hand, the growing use of AI, robotics, free agent workers, contractors, consultants and part-time employees brings with it HR challenges that only few organisations are prepared to tackle. On the other hand, many companies recognise the need for breakthrough and innovative approaches – and are reinventing work and how talent and skills combine.’