6 Tips for Balancing the Robotics and Humans on Your Team

While some view the emergence of the latest innovations in computing as the next big revolution in modern business, it’s more of a transitory state.

You might have finally come to understand and embrace Industry 4.0 and all it has to offer, but don’t get too comfortable — Industry 5.0 is already on its way.

What is Industry 5.0?

If Industry 4.0 marks the initial integration of humans and robotics in the workplace, then Industry 5.0 marks its climax.

However, the next phase is more than that. It combines advanced functionality through the Internet of Things (IoT), next-gen artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create a team-based environment of humans and robots alike.

There are significant benefits in placing cobots — collaborative robots — alongside human workers, but there are challenges, too.

Some of the biggest hurdles come in balancing the roles they play, optimizing their combined productivity and ensuring humans feel comfortable with their robotic partners. Those who do so effectively will be well-prepared when Industry 5.0 finally makes landfall.

A collaborative robot cell at a aerodynamic facility in Germany

1- Offer promotions whenever possible

Next-gen robots can fulfill nearly every possible role in today’s workplaces, from office environments to manufacturing facilities. Although this is a cause for concern, the outlook isn’t as dire as some believe.

Instead of filling the better, higher-paying jobs with cobots, offer promotions to your current workers whenever possible. You can still assign robots to the more menial jobs.

They won’t complain at all, and your human employees will appreciate their new status and increased compensation.

2- Transition employees to customer service roles

Business in the 21st century is all about customer service — and even that is changing. Today’s customer service is more about giving the customer exactly what they want as opposed to telling them they’re right. Customization is driving customer service from this point forward.

This is an area that robots — and even cobots — can’t accommodate. Not only do customers want to speak with live human beings, but many of them also want the individualized and personalized service that isn’t available in current-gen robots.

3- Recognize your employees’ contributions and achievements

Employee recognition programs are a great way of showing your appreciation for a job well done. They’re useful in environments that don’t include any robots or cobots at all, but they’re even more effective in a workplace that is shared with next-gen technologies.

Such programs also give you the chance to establish role models among the workforce.