In the Asia Pacific region, the impact of automation is having its greatest impact on Malaysia according to new research from recruitment experts Hays. The latest Hays web poll carried out in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore asked employees if automation had impacted their job responsibilities, and if so, to which extent.
Malaysia was top on the list, only second to Singapore, as most impacted by automation with 45 per cent of survey participants confirming they were partially subjected to its effects and had some of their tasks automated and non-routine duties increased. This figure is coupled by another 16 per cent who said that they were indeed affected significantly by way of either a change in their job scopes or total job redundancy.
Respondents in Singapore produced similar results, in which 41 per cent and 20 per cent of respondents were impacted partially or significantly respectively. The least overall affected were respondents in Japan, who although had 45 per cent of talents say they have felt the effects of automation to some degree, only seven per cent of talents have experienced a substantial impact.
Mainland China and Hong Kong were at a tie in terms of the absolute number of talents affected by automation. While 43 per cent of Mainland China respondents and 49 per cent of Hong Kong respondents said they were to a certain extent affected by automation, eight per cent and 13 per cent of respondents had been greatly affected by automation in Mainland China and Hong Kong respectively.
“The prospect of automation in the workplace was once feared as an impending threat to jobs throughout the economy. However, we must acknowledge that automation is here and now,” said Tom Osborne, managing director at Hays Malaysia. “Contrary to prior sentiments, countless studies have subsequently found that while automation will indeed lead to the displacement of jobs, it will, in turn, create even more opportunities. While automation will undoubtedly lead to disruption, it will also lead to a ‘hollowing out’ of jobs distribution. Middle-skilled jobs will likely become obsolete while opportunities will grow for lower- and higher-skilled workers.”
To reap the fruits of automation, argues Osborne, employers must be quick to equip their workforce to face the disruption already taking place by giving a fresh look to their training and development strategies. Employees, on the other hand, must take an agile and adaptable approach to their careers. Talents across all sectors and industries can also stand to benefit from embracing technology and updating themselves with the technical knowledge and knowhow needed to work alongside automation.