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Gen Z most concerned about robots taking their jobs

More than double the number of Gen Z (31%) than Gen X (14%) employees think that digital trends like AI and chatbots will lead to them losing parts of or all of their job, according to new research by Badenoch & Clark – part of The Adecco Group, global leader in HR solutions.

This is closely followed by millennials, with 28% believing that robots will threaten their jobs – exactly double the number of their older colleagues.

Nikki Coleman, Operations Director, Badenoch & Clark, commented: “Whether technology will lead to widespread unemployment has been a hotly debated topic in recent years, but little attention has been paid to generational nuances in sentiment towards the 'rise' of artificial intelligence.

“Yet, with technology playing varying roles in the lives of different generations and Gen Z, for example, having a much longer working life ahead of them than Gen X, it makes sense that concerns around digital trends in the workplace are not the same for every generation. Employers should be aware of the different worries and priorities of these generations so that they can address and manage them appropriately.”

Despite being more likely to think that robots will take their jobs, Gen Z is also most positive about the impact digital trends will have on their working life. With 29% of Gen Z thinking that trends like AI will do the boring jobs so that they don’t have to, compared to just 16% of Gen X. Similarly, 39% of Gen Z think that these digital trends will enable them to be more efficient, versus one in five (19%) Gen Xers.

Coleman continued: “It is also interesting that the youngest cohort of employee is both concerned and hopeful about the impact of technology on their working lives, demonstrating the level of uncertainty that exists around this topic.

To ensure that this doesn’t translate into loss of productivity and lower workplace wellbeing levels, employers should take ownership of the topic. Being open about their digital strategy and presenting the wealth of evidence about how far from stealing jobs, robots will be able to enrich and improve working lives, is one good way to do this. Upskilling across generations will also be key for employers to ensure that all of their employees are ready for the future world of work.”