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73% of UK businesses expect COVID-19 to usher in industry automation, reveals study

A UK-wide study conducted by Pod Group, a platform, software and connectivity services provider, has unveiled that 73% of the UK business leaders believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will usher in a new stage of workplace and industry automation. The study, covering 500 business leaders, aimed to point out the expectations of replacements caused by automation in the next ten years. It showed that 37% of them believed that at least 3 in 10 roles could be automated, while 28% believed that automation would replace 40% of the employees.

“COVID-19 has unquestionably accelerated the speed at which businesses are looking to introduce automation technology,” said Charles Towers-Clark, Global Chairman, Pod Group. “With 73% of CEOs of the opinion that automation will help employees to fulfil their potential, the COVID-19 crisis has presented an opportunity to build on the change that many employees have already experienced. The results of this survey make me hopeful that CEOs won’t squander this opportunity by reverting back to command and control methodologies but instead will use digitalisation and automation to create a better working environment.”

Out of 500, 62% of respondents said that they expect their companies to speed up plans of replacing manual processes with automation, in response to the COVID-19 situation. 64% in retail, catering and leisure industry are of the same opinion followed by 71% in finance and 73% in IT and Telecoms. 34% of the subjects claim cost savings as a major driver behind automation, while 13% stated less dependency on human labour as the driver and the remaining 13% believe that automation will bring about an improvement in the quality of work. The study also pointed out that 39% of the business leaders are unsure about automation’s role in their business in a post-COVID-19 era.

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