Automation is hitting office jobs in Chicago - Analytics in HR

Automation is hitting office jobs in Chicago

There’s a new robot in town at West Monroe Partners’ human resources department, and it’s expected to shave off hours of work. The bot, programed into...

There’s a new robot in town at West Monroe Partners’ human resources department, and it’s expected to shave off hours of work.

The bot, programed into an unassuming Lenovo Thinkpad, helps employees at the Chicago-based business and information technology consulting firm bring on new workers, entering data into a laundry list of systems. It’s a job that takes an HR representative about 25 minutes. Rosie — named after the housemaid robot on “The Jetsons” — can do it in five.

Rosie represents one way companies are using technology to replace tasks performed by white-collar workers, a trend previously more closely associated with blue-collar manufacturing. It’s part of a process experts have long warned is coming. Now, robots are here, one expert said, and if they aren’t in your industry yet, they will be.

By the early 2030s, about 38 percent of U.S. jobs could be automated, according to a study consulting firm PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, released in March.

Researchers hesitate to quantify the number of jobs advanced technology has already consumed. It can occur through attrition or remain undisclosed by private companies. Some employers, including management at West Monroe, say automation will free employees from menial tasks and create jobs needed to maintain the new technology, but it’s undeniable jobs will be lost. In fact, some are already gone.

Recent layoffs at Allstate and Capital One, for example, were attributed directly to advancements in technology that made some positions obsolete.

Allstate quietly laid off more than 500 employees this year. Most were casualties of the Northbrook-based insurer’s QuickFoto Claim feature, which lets customers send in photos of their damaged vehicles rather than waiting for in-person visits from claims adjusters, the company said.

Click here to continue reading Ally Marotti’s article.


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