Product Innovation: Meaningful Work in the Age of Automation

Product Innovation: Meaningful Work in the Age of Automation

When we look ahead and reimagine the future of work, human and technological expansion will allow workers to create more meaningful employment.

Meaningful Work

Everybody wants to do important research whether we think about it or not. Significant research is highly motivational and deeply personal, contributing to greater commitment, success and satisfaction. Significant research can appear to concentrate on the worker, but most people who encounter significant work see it as a larger contribution to society. We want this work to affect other people, communities and the wider world.

It is tempting to believe that when they perceive it, people are conscious of the meaningfulness of their job, but this is usually not the case. Only when individuals have an opportunity to reflect do they see a link between the successes and the nature of a broader sense of life. Significance is a retrospective act, rather than an emotion that is felt naturally at the moment.

Employees find meaningful jobs for themselves, but companies need to build a work atmosphere for this to happen this allows workers to succeed. Through doing the following, businesses will cultivate a sense of purpose for their employees:

·         Formulate the intent of the organization in a way that reflects on the positive contribution that the business makes to the larger society or the environment

·         Prove to the workers how their roles align with the wider intent of the company

·         Encourage people to recognize that while certain aspects of their work are boring and routine, these activities contribute to the purpose of the organisation.

·         Build an atmosphere of support, gratitude and inclusiveness in which workers can express a sense of mutual values and belonging and understand how their work has a positive effect on others

Robotic Process Automation

Use automation to include the convergence of technology, robotics, AI and blockchain in a specific sense of the term.

Not one day goes by without us learning of the transition from an analog world to a digital environment with its tactile physical interactions. While several organisations went through the digital transformation years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the epidemic has accelerated the transition and made it more urgent.

Automation is at the core of any digital transformation. RPA is nothing more than one form of automation. It is designed to automate repetitive, tedious and manual processes by creating bots and programming them to imitate the keystrokes that a person makes while performing a task.

What is the relation between RPA and practical work? According to Dr. Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation at Goldsmiths Institute of Management Studies, University of London, who conducted a thesis on Augmented Human Enterprise, this is a important one. The study showed that RPA would be able to encourage workers to do higher-value jobs, resulting in more "ordinary" work where workers are happier, more successful and less likely to leave.

Employees can do the work that involves imagination, judgement, intuition, logic, and emotional intelligence by converting simple, routine tasks and processes into bots. We can have time to learn new skills, solve difficult problems and spend more time engaging with customers. Humans and machines work together in this kind of work environment, leading to greater commitment and work / life balance.

It was, and still is, the dream for RPA in many ways. Is this panned out so? RPA has received a mixed response from organizations, with some claiming that RPA struggled to deliver on its cost-saving pledge. The use cases are still limited, and the ROI of the RPA programs is difficult to quantify. In April 2019, the widely-read online publication Horses for Sources made a sensational argument that RPA is gone.

RPA is nowhere near gone. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread and most of the workers started operating from home, technology became the front and core of our everyday conversations once again. Some say that RPA can solve difficult problems in remote workforce management, and that it can be an important part of the future of work. RPA is certainly not dead as Bloomberg announced on 1 May 2020 that Microsoft is in negotiations to buy Softomotive, one of the oldest RPA firms. In 2005 Softomotive was originally established in Greece, based in the UK.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies were hesitant to implement RPA programs, for fear of causing job losses. The Augmented Human Enterprise study predicted that "the workforce of the future will gradually operate with automation instead of being replaced by it." With the chaos created by the health crisis and the subsequent unemployment, the fear of automation will have to take a back seat as companies may have to rely more on automation to survive and resolve the financial difficulties.

Although the employment situation now appears grim as we look ahead and reimagine the future of work, an increase in talent and technology would allow workers to reinvent themselves and create more meaningful jobs.