More than four in 10 employees believe their job will disappear in the next five years because of technology, according to a new survey.
And accounting and finance staff are among the most fearful, with 45 per cent making that prediction behind the likes of manufacturing and production workers and those in the medical profession.
Perhaps ironically, those working in a “technology implementation” role – those with responsibilities for introducing new technology to businesses – are the second most concerned group, with 66 per cent citing fears about their future.
The results are part of a new report commissioned by spend management software provider, Compleat Software.
Overall, nearly one in five employees are convinced that their job will become completely redundant in the next half decade, with automation and AI in particular cited as technologies expected to disrupt their workforce.
Another 25 per cent don’t believe their job will disappear but believe it will have changed to something entirely different if new technology is introduced.
Much has been made about the robotic future of the workplace. For example, research from McKinsey went as far as to predict that 45 per cent of current jobs can be automated, in at least some way.
But commenting on Compleat’s survey, Neil Robertson, executive chairman at the software company, said: “Technology definitely has a part to play in businesses and it does have the potential to automate many repetitive tasks that workers currently do.
“But the reality is that technology implemented properly, won’t take jobs but will allow those people to evolve into more interesting and fulfilling roles.”
How does this affect finance workers?
He added: “Accounts Payable and invoice payments are a prime example, where technology can remove the mundane tasks and make these processes more efficient. By automating invoice capture, approval processes with improved visibility and audit trails, it frees up time to evolve the accounting function to become far more proactive in the way the money is being spent.”
“I think unfortunately for headline writers, much of the hype that technology will outright steal jobs doesn’t always ring true. History has shown that office related technologies may have changed the way we work, but it has also opened far more doors into new, more interesting and valuable roles than it has removed.
“Automation is coming to the workplace, but employees are more likely to benefit than they are to be made unemployed.”