I’m a firm believer in automating drudgery – boring, repetitive unsatisfying work, often physically hard, and often involving tasks that we humans really aren’t that good at.
So I welcome software that automates sending emails, or makes it easier to book people onto a job, or does my bank reconciliation for me.
But every time we automate, we insert a veil beween us and the people we serve, making it easier to forget why we are doing the work – to help another human being flourish. As layers build, it becomes all too easy to slip into thinking about people as mere statistics, rather than the flesh and blood individuals they are.
The way to counteract this is to consciously use the energy and attention released by automation to make a deeper connection with the person on the other side.
For the people who spend their lives behind whole walls of automation and disconnection, this will feel ‘wasteful’. It isn’t.
It’s an investment that will pay off handsomely, for both sides.