No, the robots aren’t coming. They’re already here, and they’re transforming the nature of jobs faster than ever before.

Download the report to learn more about:

  • How emerging technologies are redefining the way people work
  • The five transformative technologies affecting the workplace of the future
  • The many ways that robotics, AI and other tech are improving business functions
  • The jobs that either don’t exist yet or are poised to take off soon

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Jobs and AI anxiety

Jobs and AI anxiety

Since the age of the printing press, new technologies have been making old roles obsolete. Yet innovation has a proven history of creating more jobs than it eliminates, not to mention improving the lives of workers and consumers alike.

To create this report, we conducted exclusive research and spoke with numerous business leaders, workers, in-house experts and noted authorities about their fears, hopes and predictions around the future of work. The result is a close look at the top technologies that are revolutionizing the nature of work — and how you and your team can prepare for the not-so-distant future.

People and their relationship with technology, or more specifically, how they work with and apply technology in new and imaginative ways, will help define the new world of work.

— Paul McDonald, senior executive director, Robert Half

Webinar: Preparing for the Future of Work

Preparing for the Future of Work Webinar

For decades, people have been concerned that machines might take over their jobs in the near future. And with advanced technologies emerging in the workplace in recent years, those concerns have grown.

Robert Half research suggests, however, that there's little to fear - if you're prepared. Watch this webinar to ease your anxiety and make the most of technological change.

Five technologies to watch

Which innovations will bring about the most significant changes to business practices and the way people work? The experts we interviewed named these five transformative technologies:

1Process automation

Process automation will make skilled workers more valuable

Chatbots to handle customer inquiries. Algorithms to audit data and catch fraud. Software that reconciles accounts. Our experts suggest that roughly a quarter of businesses today use automation, including robotics to carry out tedious tasks and get more done, but the adoption rate will skyrocket in the near future. Besides saving money, process automation makes better use of human talent. The future of work is that skilled professionals will be freed from having to perform many routine processes and have more time to spend on bigger and more interesting projects, making people even more valuable.

70% of managers in Canada are either currently using automation or expect to do so within the next three to five years.

Source: Robert Half survey

By using automation, business leaders can tackle their long to-do lists and start building their business of the future.

— Jonathan Wyatt, managing director and global head, Protiviti Digital

2Artificial intelligence

AI will make jobs more human-centric, not less

77% of managers in Canada are either currently using artificial intelligence/machine learning or plan to use it within the next three to five years.

Source: Robert Half survey

Most people are happy to let robotics take over physical or menial labour. But mental tasks? That might seem more threatening. The truth is, the future of AI is smart systems that work with people. This is symbiotic computing: doing more — and more effectively — together than alone. In the new workplace, AI will serve primarily as the supporting partner, with humans taking the lead.

That means humans will increasingly use AI to augment their thinking, as AI increasingly learns from humans.

— Daniel Burrus, technology futurist, disruptive innovation expert and best-selling author

3Augmented, virtual and mixed realities

Immersive technology will expand far beyond entertainment

If you think augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are just for video games, think again. Immersive experiences are a growing part of the future workplace. Manufacturing and healthcare are using them to boost accuracy, safety and sales, and businesses are currently in the early stages of adopting these technologies. One of the most interesting applications of VR is in recruiting. Imagine more dynamic interactions between managers and job seekers, or giving potential employees a taste of what it’s like to be in a certain type of work.

58% of managers in Canada are either currently using virtual reality or expect to do so within the next three to five years.

Source: Robert Half survey

4Cloud computing and services

The cloud will be the great business equalizer

94% of managers are currently using the cloud or expect to do so within the next three to five years.

Source: Robert Half survey

The global market for cloud services is on fire. While initially hesitant over privacy issues, business leaders now have discovered the power of accessing software, infrastructure and platforms via the cloud. On the horizon is artificial intelligence as a service (AIaaS). Rather than investing time and capital to develop comparable in-house systems, AIaaS allows companies of any size to use this powerful tool.

We’re at the base of a mountain of the revolution caused by cloud services and virtualization.

— Daniel Burrus, technology futurist, disruptive innovation expert and best-selling author

5Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) will become commonplace in business

In the future of work, various “things” — appliances, home assistants, security systems — talk to each other without needing people as intermediaries. IoT-enabled sensors and monitors will be embedded in more objects than ever before. But even though humans are largely out of the IoT communication chain, this transformative technology requires people who understand how to develop and apply it, as well as keep the ecosystem and data secure.

74% of managers in Canada are either currently using the IoT or expect to do so within the next three to five years.

Source: Robert Half survey

How are businesses using these five technologies to boost accuracy, efficiency and the bottom line?

See the report for more details and examples.

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