Will Automation Replace Construction Workers?
Will robots eventually replace construction workers on job sites and in offices?
The digitization of the construction industry has many people worried. For years, people have been saying robots will replace workers, some even compare it to the Industrial Revolution. As time progresses, professionals in the construction industry may wonder whether their jobs will be at risk at some point in the future.
Whether you’re a project manager or someone who is looking to go into construction, you may be feeling uneasy about entering or staying in this industry. As cloud platforms start to automate a lot of tasks, will people eventually find themselves out of jobs?
These are excellent questions that merit high-quality answers, we’ll answer them below. Keep reading to learn more!
The Advancement of Technology and Job Erasure
So, how is technology influencing the construction industry?
A study by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute (MEPI) stated robots could replace 2.7 million construction jobs by 2057. This means a good number of jobs might be replaced, and it might rise to replace around 49% of jobs.
While this might sound devastating to many people who work in construction, it doesn’t mean the industry is at a dead-end. In fact, those in the field sometimes come to the conclusion that the bend towards automation might create new jobs.
Certainly, it may automate the functions that are the most repetitive, but it also encourages the industry to create new positions. This is necessary since the construction industry suffered in the 2008 stock market crash and never fully recovered. Instead, it continued to have significant job shortages, even prior to COVID-19.
Digitization and Job Expansion
Part of their inability to shape new jobs came about from their slow progress in adopting new technology. This came about for a variety of reasons, ranging from an aging workforce (younger workers are more likely to be open to using new technologies) to distrust of machinery operated by robots.
Nevertheless, it has held the industry back from expanding. Whereas manufacturers and other businesses have flourished using technology, even using it to flourish during the pandemic, the construction industry has consistently lagged behind.
The reluctance to adopt new technologies and the job shortages needs to change. Fortunately, if the construction industry decides to embrace technology, it will also create new jobs. After all, there must be people programming the robots to perform the tasks, meaning construction will still demand human oversight.
As such, robots won’t so much oust all workers from the construction industry as they will refine the industry and push it to develop the jobs it needs to possess in order to expand.
What If You Are a Construction Worker?
But what if you are a construction worker now, is your job at risk of being taken over by machines?
This is a real concern for many people, but the truth is, robots will feature more and more in the construction industry. If you work a job that might become automated, become trained in using technologies being used to do your tasks. That way, you can position yourself as an expert in them and advance in your career.
The Role of Cloud Platforms in Construction
When people think of robots taking over jobs, they often think of how automated processes have already replaced tasks traditionally done by workers. This might cause some people to become nervous, wondering where the progression of robot-operated tasks will cease.
Cloud platforms often serve as the backbone of this automation. When you have a cloud service, workers are often able to automate routine tasks that used to take up their time. This is especially true of tasks that you perform the same way every single time.
Some technology also gives them easy ways to report equipment hazards. No matter what you use it for, it helps you automate your workflows.
It’s important to note, though, that cloud platforms have so far been designed to assist workers rather than replace jobs altogether. Many cloud companies tout themselves as means to streamline your work processes, keep your team on the same page, and take responsibilities off of their to-do lists so they can focus on what you want them to do.
As such, cloud platforms help you take your work to the next level and improve the efficiency of your team, and it’s possible to view them as an essential part of growing your business and boosting your productivity.
Cloud solutions can also help you streamline the back-end processes of running a construction company. Our product, Acumatica, helps you do just that, giving you mobile and cloud capabilities and helping you expand your profitability.
Automation and Job Replacement
As a result, we should assume that technology will someday replace many tasks. This might put more routine-based jobs at risk in the future.
Yet, few jobs are 100% routine. Often, workers must modify their approaches to the individual project, and this is the type of work that becomes difficult to automate. It requires abstract thinking and the ability to adapt to different situations.
So, while machines may start featuring in construction endeavors, they won’t — at least any time in the near future — fully replace humans. In fact, they will only open up new job opportunities.
Ready to Invest in Technology for Your Construction Company?
To that end, if you want to expand your construction company, you should consider embracing new technology, especially cloud platforms.
Embracing technology will help the construction industry expand in real-time. Even though many people fear technology will replace jobs, failure to welcome technology will continue to cripple the construction industry. On the other hand, should companies use technology, they end up expanding their businesses and creating new jobs.