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Companies ‘unprepared for automation’

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Automation in the workplace, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, is expected to surge in the next three years, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson.

However, very few companies are prepared to address the challenges this presents.

The Global Future of Work Survey found that companies expect automation will account for 22% of work being done in the next three years. That compares with 12% today, and just 7% three years ago.

Less than 7% of respondents say they are fully prepared for the changing requirements of automation, and less than a third are somewhat prepared.

“UK companies clearly see work automation gaining momentum, with little signs of slowing down anytime soon,” Digital Lead for Talent and Rewards George Zarkadakis said.

“The implications for HR and talent strategies are immediate. On one hand, the growing use of AI, robotics, free agent workers, contractors, consultants and part-time employees brings with it HR challenges that only few organisations are prepared to tackle.

“On the other hand, many companies recognise the need for breakthrough and innovative approaches – and are reinventing work and how talent and skills combine.”