By: Stefano Tromba Oct 26, 2020

Automation is the Answer for Small Businesses During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the automation of tasks normally carried out by actual people. Jobs like, administrative assistants, bookkeepers, and payroll managers, are moving to automation at an accelerated pace.  A new World Economic Forum (WEF) report finds the speed by which automation is taking place could take over approximately 85 million jobs by 2025. On the flip side, it’s expected to create 97 million new roles.

The published report states that automation, in tandem with the pandemic is creating a “double disruption” scenario for workers.  Roughly 40% of large companies surveyed by the WEF plan to reduce workforces due to the integration of automation technology.

While the coronavirus has caused high unemployment around the world, it has created markets for other jobs. There has been a major spike in jobs within the health care and tech field. “There’s a huge demand for people who can facilitate video meetings”, says, ZipRecruiter labor economist, Julia Pollack.

The Jobs of Tomorrow…Today

The pandemic has accelerated technology adoption by businesses and consumers. It has turbocharged demand for cloud computing and e-commerce services. Positions in growing demand include those in the green economy, roles at the forefront of data and artificial intelligence, as well as new jobs in engineering, cloud computing, and product development.

An expected, an increase for marketing, content production, as well as sales positions, which in many cases require little, to no human interaction, are rapidly rising. However, roles requiring skills for working with people from different backgrounds and cultures showcase the ongoing importance of human interaction in the new economy, the report added.

Some workers whose jobs are vulnerable may be able to move into new careers, according to the report, which found that 94% of businesses surveyed expect employees to pick up new skills on the job, a sharp increase from 65% in 2018.

An analysis by LinkedIn’s data science team conducted for the WEF showed that many professionals who have moved into “emerging roles” in the new economy over the past five years came from entirely different occupations, which in some cases did not share similar skills.

For example, half of those who transitioned into data science and artificial intelligence (AI) professions were from unrelated industries. That figure climbs to 67% in engineering roles, 72% in content roles, and 75% in sales.

Transitions into data and AI allow for the largest variation in skills profiles, the LinkedIn study shows, finding that half of those who moved into these roles had skills with low similarity.

Automation Acceleration

For years now, automation has taken over many of the days to days tasks once performed manually by people. For example, the HR industry has adopted automation in numerous tasks. These include everything from payroll processing to the onboarding of new employees and more. Automation is a huge money saver for most businesses – in particular small businesses. Especially now, as smaller companies struggle, the advantages automation provides, both financially and from a management perspective – are enormous.

Companies are increasingly investing in retraining existing employees. The report projects that half of the workers who remain in their roles are taking on more responsibilities and developing new skills to perform their jobs more effectively in an increasingly automated world.

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Stefano is a seasoned marketing professional and writer with diverse industry experience. Born and raised in NYC, he holds a Journalism degree from Queens College, and is currently the Head of Marketing at Fingercheck.

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