In a machine-driven future, what happens to the human worker?

In a machine-driven future, what happens to the human worker?

The future of work has been at the centre of long-standing debate. What will it look like? Will there be a place for us humans? Or, will we be delegated to a life of leisure?

There are two sides to this argument’s coin; the bolder of which insists on a workforce overtaken with robots who do things better, faster, and cheaper. The other favours our working future and believes that there will always be things that machines can’t achieve.

With the consistent leaps and bounds of machine development, the engineering industry is in a constant state of technological evolution. As such, it’s becoming difficult to predict even what our own workshop will look like in twenty years’ time — making this debate particularly relevant for the future of Albert Jagger.

A challenge to work as we know it

The unique nature of the projects we’re tasked with means that we know first-hand the benefits granted by machines. Beyond the standard gains of lowered production costs, unbelievable efficiency, and the reduction of error margins, machines allow us to achieve things we simply wouldn’t be able to as humans. As such, machines have been absorbing the roles of human workers in almost every industry for years.

Our press breaks and guillotines ensure we’re capable of working on projects involving large-scale materials and creating outcomes that would be unimaginable without the strength granted by these heavy-duty machines. Similarly, the intricate results produced by innovations like laser cutting would be unachievable in our workshop if we were to rely on a completely human workforce.

Machines are not only integral to the daily operations of our business, they’re also essential in creating outcomes at the level of quality we’re known for.

So, why haven’t we evolved our workforce into one consisting purely of robots and machines?

The inherent value of human labour

Despite what you may have heard, there will always be things machines can’t do. Machines can’t operate themselves, nor can they think, feel, or create; so, our place in the workforce is safe for the foreseeable future.

There’s even evidence for the fact that humans can bring a greater amount of value to a business than machines — even with their ability to exponentially expand profit margins.

While handcrafted products carry an extra cost to the customer (a result of additional labour costs), a large number of consumers will continue to reach for handcrafted products for the creativity, pride, and quality present within them. This essentially means that human workers produce outcomes that are often more valuable than machined ones.

This rings true with the nature of our work at Albert Jagger. The projects we work on are often one-off’s and solution-based. As such, our skilled team of fabricators are essential for their ability to think on their feet, adjust designs, and solve problems to create the outcome desired by the client.

With this in mind, what does the future really look like?

With constant advances in technology and extensive benefits brought by automated machines, it may seem easy to write-off a future of work in which humans play a role. Despite these advances, investment in a human workforce will always be necessary for those businesses interested in creating the highest quality outcomes.

As one of these businesses, our workshop will continue to host our team of highly skilled fabricators alongside our specialised engineering equipment in order to continually achieve the level of quality we’re renowned for.