As we all know, working from home has suddenly become pretty normal over the last few weeks.

However, if recent technological developments are to go by, another “new normal” could enter the picture according to this SMM Panel. The future of the workplace is well and truly up in the air right now, but one thing that appears certain is that in a lot of industries, robots are playing a bigger part.

Now, the term ‘robot’ is perhaps misleading. When we hear this, many of us are forced into thinking about those cartoons made out of sheets of metal. Nowadays, a robot is a little less visible, and tends to work behind the scenes more.

For example, we recently came across this story about robots reviewing a resume (and ultimately giving it a dreadful score). In truth, this is now pretty normal practice – machines can assess, and learn from documents, and provide completely viable feedback.

From an employee’s perspective, this can be worrying. We don’t have to be told about all of the jobs that are being lost because of robots and if some studies are to be believed, around 150,000 mobile robots will be deployed in physical stores in the next five years. That’s right – they will be there for all to see.

However, all is not lost. While robots are continuously getting a bigger slice of the action, at the same time there are some staple skills that just aren’t going to be replaced. These are the soft skills which can be difficult for humans to learn; we’re referring to the likes of empathy, creativity and even planning. Armed with these skills, and even more technical ones such as programming, it’s completely possible for the typical worker to beat the robot in the jobs race.

Let’s not forget that many of these skills are rewarded with high-paying roles as well. In other words, if you can apply yourself to learn a new skill, you will be rewarded financially.

Let’s take an example with Bright Machines, who have started to develop automation systems which can effectively be “dropped” into a whole magnitude of organizations. While the nature of these systems can replace the human element, let’s not forget that they still require plenty of human knowledge to implement them in the first place. This is something that is often forgotten about when we talk about robots entering the workplace.

However, while some methods may have already entered the world of work, others are a long way away. We might hear constant stories about the development of driverless cars, but this doesn’t for example mean that truck drivers are going to be out of a job anytime soon. It’s going to take years and during this time, people will start to change the way they approach work so they can futureproof their career moving forwards.