Robotics @ Work

Oct. 1, 2018
Employee Viewpoint —  Robotics are seemingly in the news daily with stories of how robots can do a variety of jobs from greeting hotel guests to flipping hamburgers in fast […]

Employee Viewpoint — 

Robotics are seemingly in the news daily with stories of how robots can do a variety of jobs from greeting hotel guests to flipping hamburgers in fast food restaurants. With each news item, fear that robots will take away jobs increases.

While robots can be designed to do many tasks, Y Soft believes that robots are best used for repetitive tasks. Robots can be effectively used alongside human workers allowing humans to focus on more core tasks that add value to their work and to their companies.

In June 2018, Y Soft conducted a survey to better understand how the use of robots would be perceived by employees. The blind survey was conducted through Survey Monkey to over 1,000 participants. This report contains the survey questions and the aggregated results including open-ended comments. The results might surprise you!

Some key findings:
● 83.7% or 852 people don’t think their jobs will be replaced by robots.
● There is some worry. 463 people or 45.5% of respondents are worried that machines will make decisions that lack the human element/touch.
● Age is a factor. Nearly 23% of workers under 30 are worried of being replaced by robots, compared to nearly 9% aged 45-60, and even fewer — 4% of workers over 60. Most of the worriers thought it would happen within a decade.
● About half, 51%, said they’d feel comfortable working alongside a robot because it would allow them to focus on more interesting parts of their job.
● The top 3 areas where robots are perceived to be useful are: manufacturing & product testing; paper processes; and reception or internal help desk

Food for Thought from Our 2022 ICT Visionaries


WHAT DO  YOU WORRY ABOUT THE MOST regarding robotics in the workplace?
(Not Worried Comments)
I think a shift in our financial system needs to happen in order to shift labor from a human to a robotic workforce. This is a good thing that will no doubt be a difficult process.

Robots only have certain applications, using them means people with skills to train, repair, etc. will be necessary. Which means new jobs to offset the less skilled ones. Yes, people will need to be trained but the ability to be more competitive will keep more people employed.

I’m not worried about robots in the workplace. I think they will create skilled technical jobs. I work in a writing-based creative job so I’m not worried about losing my job to robots either.

Robots would require skilled labor to ensure operations. Concern only about the ability of the robot to perform the task.

WHAT DO YOU WORRY ABOUT THE MOST regarding robotics in the workplace?(Worried Comments)
Displacement of workers, especially workers in repetitive work will lead to social displacement and a rise in inequality between the ‘skilled’ workers and the ‘unskilled’. this sort of stratification never works well.

Artificial intelligence that may decide humans are to be eradicated.

They become self-aware, realize they don’t need us to reproduce, and decide humans are unnecessary.

If robots replace people resulting in people not working. Then robots will build stuff for no one. Think about that…

Trying to automate teaching more than is already demanded by directives and standards in common core.

I worry that poor understanding of what we are trying to achieve with machine intelligence will eventually lead to an exponentially increasing divide between machines and humans.

Being unable to connect easily with a human being when there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.

Mechanic risk.

In addition to the above I am concerned something could go wrong causing a dire emergency with fatalities.

The use of automation to depress workers’ wages and cement hierarchical wealth distribution

It is important for there to be jobs for people – for many reasons – while the bottom line is important, greed is out of control these days.

Dislocation of the entire economy when there are far fewer jobs and more concentrations of wealth. How will enough people make a living?

About the Report
Information about survey participants can be found in the Demographics section. You can download the full report from here:

YSoft Labs is an internal innovation center at Y Soft where new technologies and potential product directions are explored. Robotics is one area of exploration. Currently, robotics are used at Y Soft to test user interfaces on print devices, external terminals, smartphones, and tablets. For more information, please visit For more information about YSoft, please visit See at

About the Author

Human Network Contributor

If you're interested in contributing an article, please email Sharon Vollman, Editorial Director, [email protected], or Lisa Weimer, Managing Editor, ISE Magazine, [email protected].