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Lots of people around the world think of robots existing in only science fiction. In reality, we are much closer to life amongst robots than we think. Many major corporations around the world have started to implement robotics in their workplaces and factories. Whether it be a robotic cashier at a supermarket or a metal smelting machine in an industrial building, robots are officially here.
This has led many company owners to consider whether robots are actually a positive for their business. Are they really more efficient than human workers? Do they provide as much accuracy as our own minds? Can they solve logical problems the same way that we can? These are the questions that many entrepreneurs need answered.
This article will explore the impact that robots can have on your workforce and its processes. We will specifically go through a few pros and cons of implementing robots for your company.
Robots are Cost Effective
Many business owners, and in particular, factory owners, always look for ways to cut operational costs. What this basically entails is being able to complete the same processes at lower costs. Reducing expenses is a great way to improve the overall health of your company as well.
Implementing a robotic workforce will require a large financial outlay at the start. Being able to buy machines and program them to do the jobs needed will require capital input. But that’s really where it ends monetary-wise.
You don’t need to pay robots’ salaries and they will never take a day off from work.
The only time you’ll really need to spend any money is for maintenance and repairs. Other than that, it’s smooth sailing in terms of workforce expenses.
Robots are not Situation Dynamic
One of the biggest drawbacks of using robots in the workplace is the fact that they can’t think for themselves. Or at least the robots that we use now can’t. The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence technology could soon change that.
As of right now, if your workplace experiences an unexpected situation, your robots won’t be able to react. The only thing that robots know to do is what they’re programmed to do.
So, for example, let’s say a fire breaks out in a car manufacturing factory. Your robots won’t be able to react proactively to stop the fire or put it out. Instead, they will continue building the cars they have been built to build.
Specialized for Tasks
On the other side of the coin, the fact that robots are built to do just one thing is positive. One thing that every human does is procrastinate.
We’ve all been sitting at our desks at some point, doing anything but the work we’ve been assigned, especially when there are more fun options like playing at Jupiter Club. Our brains aren’t designed to always only focus on one thing at a time.
Robots on the other hand are tailor-made to complete one task and one task only. They can be specialized to completing certain tasks and they will do nothing but those tasks.
Not only does this lead to increased productivity but also increased efficiency in completing tasks. This is also what makes robots the perfect fit for jobs that require mundane and monotonous processes.
Some Robots are Low Quality
One thing that many managers, CEOs, and company owners think is that implementing robots reduces the need for any HR department. Sure, with humans your HR team needs to be selective in recruitment and deal with workplace disputes.
With robots, however, being selective is also a huge part of successful implementation. There are many engineering companies out there right now producing low-quality robots. These are machines that can’t complete tasks efficiently or simply break down too quickly.
Your company needs to be selective about the robots you choose to buy. Pricing obviously plays a significant role in this decision. Your company shouldn’t skimp out as these robots could represent the future of your company.
Robots are Immune to Danger
Possibly the biggest social positive that robotic implementation can have is protecting humans from dangerous working environments. Things like mechanical factories and mines have always presented real danger for workers. Using robots completely eliminates this danger.
Of course, robots will be expensive for your company, so you’ll also want to protect them from danger. No company owner wants a set of damaged robots. But taking this risk is still far better than risking human life working in a harmful or dangerous workplace.
You Can’t Communicate with Robots
As mentioned above, robots can’t think for themselves. This means that they can’t receive feedback and also can’t let you know about any potential problems. Most business experts would insist that any good workplace relies heavily on communication.
Communication is what eventually leads to more efficient processes and a good working environment.
What’s even more damaging is the fact that your workplace won’t have any human element to it. Many people look forward to work only to see and talk to their co-workers and friends. Having something like a hybrid robotic workplace may remove this element from the workplace completely.
Increased Physical Capabilities
Some jobs are simply out of the limits of human physical prowess. We can’t lift extremely heavy pieces of material or reach extremely high places. Many jobs that require these types of physical feats often mean that companies must buy extra vehicles and equipment.
Many robots don’t have these physical restrictions. They can easily complete tasks that the average person simply wouldn’t be able to do. Some construction and manufacturing companies have already realised this and built robots for these purposes.
As you can see, using robots in the workplace has many different negatives and positives. When deciding whether or not your company would benefit from robotic implementation you will need to consider both sides of the coin.
However, at the rate the business world is moving more robots seem an inevitable possibility. And with the advancements in AI, many of the cons mentioned above might not even apply for too much longer.