The road to automation: FreeAgent research finds that 31% of working people would be happy to have a robot boss

Brought to you by FreeAgent

With the Bank Of England projecting that up to 15 million jobs might be at risk of being taken over by a robot, a new survey conducted by award-winning online accounting software provider, FreeAgent, has revealed that nearly a third of working people in the UK (31%) would be happy to work for a robot boss.

The survey of 1,000 working people in the UK* also found that 11% of respondents thought a ‘robo-boss’ would be “more efficient” than a human. Meanwhile, one in 10 also said that they think working for a robot boss would be just the same as answering to a human boss. Four out of 10 (42%) of working people in the UK also said that they would be “comfortable” taking orders from a non-human boss.

With Microsoft founder Bill Gates calling for the robot bosses of the future to be taxed, FreeAgent’s poll found that the majority of working people in the UK (57%) also believe that robot bosses should pay tax. However, 43% feel that robot bosses shouldn’t pay tax as “it would set a precedent, as other technology doesn’t get taxed like a person”.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent - which provides online accounting software for freelancers, micro-businesses and their accountants - said: “Although it might be many years before we see physical robots taking over the workforce, many workers are already anticipating the changes that automation will bring in the years ahead.”

“The shifting landscape of AI and new technology will have a major impact on people in employment, but I don’t think that this is a gloomy outlook for the workforce. Previous research we’ve carried out has suggested that many employed people are keen to quit their jobs and start their own businesses. So as automation takes a more prominent role in the workforce, it’s likely we could see a self-employment boom in the future.”

“In this scenario, automation will actually be a major benefit for these new businesses, as technological advances will make business admin and data management much easier to manage than ever before.”

To find out more about FreeAgent, visit their website or call 0800 025 3900.

*  The survey was carried out by 3Gem in August 2017 with a sample size of 1,000 working Brits.