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Opinion

How to prepare for robotics in the office

Finland's top education and fair, team-based collaborative office culture stand it in good stead as software robots increase in number, says Jari Torppa.

We are accustomed to read that robots will change the way we work in the future. Well, the future is now, already. The robots that do mechanical, rule-based tasks are here and soon we’ll also have robots that work like humans. But let’s make it clear: I am talking about software robots, not the ones that hoover around the office late at night or assemble parts on a manufacturing line.

Software robots are programs designed specifically to use other software systems as we, office workers do. They will steal monotonous and boring jobs – there is no way around it. But what can you do to prepare for that challenge? What kind of competencies will be needed in the future?

For every one of us, we should be open-minded for the new. Many things will be changing with how we work and we should be able to cope with that by being interested in change, new ways of working and constantly developing our competencies for the future. Be proactive, not reactive.

Also, be collaborative, already today the way of working is in sharing your ideas openly and contributing with others. This is the way to show your commitment and enthusiasm, and when you manage to contribute valuably it increases your value for the company.

Many positions will be opened in software development and testing, but this does not mean you need to know how to code.

If you are a person into details, you ought to learn your share of the business thoroughly to become a real in-depth expert. There is always a need for people who know their expertise deeply. Even though new systems or robots will take care of the whole process, someone needs to know how things should be done. Also, no system will remain stable. It will get developed constantly, meaning there will be work to do in the future as well.

If you are a person with a more holistic view, then you might be interested to know that when processes get more connected and automatic then it becomes also more important to understand their relations, dependencies and risks. The need for people who know and can manage complex processes and their relations will also remain and be highly valued.

If you feel the software world is not for you, don’t be scared. The most important thing is to stay open-minded and interested in learning new things. Make sure you learn to adapt quickly to new practices and work tools and processes. Being mentally agile and pro-learning will give you the sharp edge also after tomorrow.

Finland is well known for its top education and fair, team-based collaborative office culture. In this small country we are used to working together to achieve something better. This heritage will be our strength in the changing way of working.

Published on 14.09.2017