This article was written by Michelle Weger.
Picture your last trip to the grocery store.
Chances are, you had a choice to make when you finished shopping.
Do you wait in the long, slowly moving lineup to be served by a cashier?
Do you skip the line and let a machine do the work for you?
Whether or not you love or hate the self-checkout machine depends on your views of technology, how long you want your grocery shopping to take, and even your age.
On one hand, self-checkout machines are great. They’re easy, quick, and won’t judge the amount of junk food you have in your basket.
On the other hand, you may be against using them for any number of reasons:
- You don’t want technology taking away jobs from humans
- You aren’t getting paid to bag your groceries
- You enjoy your weekly conversations with your favourite cashier
The self-checkout debacle is one of the many parts in a debate that has left people divided for decades.
Is automation changing jobs or replacing them?
When was the last time you stood in line waiting to see a bank teller just so you could do a withdrawal?
Like most people, you probably use the ATM because it’s quicker and more convenient. You don’t even have to go to the bank itself to get money out because there are ATMs in almost every shopping centre.
Even though ATMs are everywhere, bank tellers still exist.
In fact, there are even more teller jobs than there used to be – meaning that not only did the machine fail to replace humans, it created more jobs.
This is because people began to see how convenient automated banking was. That meant banks could open more branches and hire more tellers to handle the tasks that machines can’t, like:
- Helping you get a mortgage for your first home
- Helping you set up a line of credit so your child can get a post-secondary education
- Working with you to create a budget so you can take your dream vacation
In other words, implementing ATMs – a.k.a. Automated Teller Machines – meant humans could focus on more meaningful tasks.
The financial industry is one of many industries that cannot ever fully be replaced by automation.
In 2020, it was estimated that 40% of employment is in jobs that have a very low risk of ever being fully automated. That figure is expected to rise to 43% in 2028, with almost 500,000 jobs created.
When I suggest automating some of the repetitive tasks, tedious tasks in your business, I’m not suggesting that you replace your employees. As a business owner myself, I understand that there are things that technology will never be able to replace.
But automating some of those tasks that get passed around because no one wants to do them leads to happier employees, higher productivity, and ultimately, more money in your pocket.