Study: Millennials most concerned about losing their jobs to robots

Smartsheet last week released its “State of Automation 2017” study which provides a breakdown of industry attitudes toward automation. While an overwhelming percentage of those surveyed believe that automation can improve their workplace (97 percent), it’s clear that millennials are far more likely than any other group to consider automation a threat to their employment.

The study was based on a survey conducted on behalf of Smartsheet by Market Cube and took into account answers provided by 1,000 information workers. Respondents were considered information workers if they were over the age of 18, spend at least half of their day at a computer, and use at least one category of business software during the work day.

The results of the survey showed a clear dichotomy between millennials and baby boomers. Of those surveyed 71 percent of millennials said they use automation on their team or in the workplace now, compared to only 58 percent of those aged 55 and older.

Millennials were also more likely to be spooked by automation, with 33 percent expressing fears that they would be replaced and 43 percent indicating they believe automation will cause them to lose value to their employers.

Baby-boomers appeared more at ease with the impending automation infiltration with only 18 percent afraid of losing jobs and 24 percent concerned about being devalued.

According to Smartsheet, the survey indicates a different mindset between the generations:

Millennials are more aware of automation, or they are more likely to work at companies that are early adopters of automation. Millennials are also more likely to be fearful of how automation will impact their value to the organization, and of its potential to cause unemployment.

The CEO of Smartsheet, Mark Mader said:

We’re entering a new era of collaborative work in which automation will drive significant improvements in productivity, efficiency and innovation for companies of all sizes, in all industries. Workers will be able to spend more time on high-value tasks and routines, such as developing key relationships and improving products and services. Importantly, the new features in Smartsheet are accessible to all employees, regardless of their technical abilities.

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