Although the coronavirus outbreak presented huge technical challenges for companies, it has also provided a live, global test for remote working in a way that was unthinkable pre-crisis. As countries open back up, companies have to consider how or even if to bring back a scattered workforce.

Namely, Patrik Strand, General Manager of Digital Product Management at Wärtsilä Marine Power stated that:

"The nature of work has already changed dramatically in the last five years, but in the last quarter it has really made a huge leap. I don’t expect us to ever go back to working the way we were before Covid-19.”

As Mr. Strand continued, along with remote assistance, technological advancements like automation and AI are top of most companies’ wish lists. But they bring with them some common fears about job losses.

"The AI is such an elegant solution. Far from destroying jobs or taking over human roles, AI actually streamlines work to make it more efficient".

...says Frank Velthuis, Wärtsilä’s Director of Digital Product Development.

In light of the above, World Economic Forum issued a report highlighting automation will disrupt 85 million jobs globally by 2025, in medium and large businesses across 15 industries and 26 economies. Specifically, more than 80% of business executives are accelerating plans to digitize work processes and deploy new technologies.