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WHITEPAPER: Automation in the office – is your job at risk?

Download our whitepaper on the left: It explores the automation planned by businesses and the affect it could have on employees, making an interesting read for business owners through to employees.

Definition of automation… “the use or introduction of automatic equipment in a manufacturing or other process or facility.”

With an estimated 10.6 million* people currently working in offices around the UK, it is important to consider the impact that further automation will have on the office and its employees. The media have increasingly published quotes from experts predicting that 10 million people will lose their jobs as a result of automation over the next 10-20 years, but does this tell us the full story?

The University of Oxford have produced data showing that white collar workers, whose roles require more routine are the most likely to become almost fully automated in the future, whilst jobs where creative solutions are needed, are less at risk. Therefore, a job as a Bookkeeper is 97.6% likely to be automated, whereas a job as a Database Administrator is 3% likely to be automated.

As Commercial recruitment consultants, specialising in office jobs, we decided that it was important to investigate the current office workplace and how automation was affecting it. We surveyed 73 businesses based in the UK, and have produced a whitepaper exploring how important automation is to the modern office, and what other factors need to be considered for future business success and workplace stability.

What is being automated? Survey reveals interesting results.

We asked a mixture of small, medium and large businesses the following questions:

  • Have you already started to implement automation in the office?
  • Do you have automation planned in the future?
  • Which jobs will it affect?
  • Are you concerned that automation could affect your job

The results have helped to draw some really interesting conclusions, highlighting patterns, and showing the impact that automation is already having on the workforce.

History of automation

The more you know about the past, the more you can prepare for the future. This is why we have also researched the history of automation in the office workplace, looking at the affect it has had, and if any patterns emerge to help us plan better in the future. We have produced an infograph below to show the progression of the office workplace.

Click to enlarge image

How are staff being affected?

Technological advances made in the last 100 years have changed our lives forever, resulting in increased productivity, better and more advanced products and services, some jobs disappearing and new jobs emerging.

In the past technology has created lots of new jobs, but since the dawn of the digital age at the turn of the century, costs and overheads have been cut, and so it has decreased the need for staff. We all know that technology makes our lives easier, but in the end will technology replace the employee? In the past this might have seemed like a thought of complete fiction, but with driverless cars already being used and even artificial intelligence, are we closer to this than we think? Our investigation looks at the current employee impact, and what businesses have planned for staff in the future.

Whitepaper on automation in the office

This whitepaper will help to shine light on this complicated subject, and what other businesses are doing around automation, giving honest feedback on their plans. The results could help provide clarity if you already have automation planned or if you are still considering the possibility of automation.

To discover the results of this survey and its conclusions, download the full whitepaper by filling in the short form to the left of this page.

If you have any questions about this research or you need help with a particular commercial recruitment requirement please email us at recruit@firstrg.com or call 01925 907000.

*numbers taken from the Office for National Statistics bulletin on the UK Labour Market: August 2015.

Download Whitepaper on Automation in the Workplace


  1. Cost Controller


    Area: UK

    Sector: Finance & Accounts

    Salary: Market related


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