A study of 500 SME owners has found that four in 10 think artificial intelligence and robotics will be used for carrying out duties in the workplace.
As many as 43 per cent believe robots will be stacking shelves and making products and a further 41 per cent believe they will replace customer services entirely.
With energy prices on the rise, 41 per cent also think they’ll be reliant on renewable sources to power this advancement in technology. The research also found nearly eight in 10 respondents think working from home will be normal in 2035. Male leaders are also more likely to support the move to remote working (52 per cent) than females (38 per cent).
Business owners are expecting customers to increasingly want more ethically sourced goods and more eco-friendly practices, resulting in nearly a third opting to reduce plastic in products and have a smart meter installed.
But 52 per cent also predict they will need to cut overheads in order to survive, and more than a third are keen to reduce energy costs and be more eco-friendly in turn.
And two-thirds agree improving their company’s eco-friendliness will help profitability and the same amount think it would make a company more of an attractive proposition to investors. So, in turn, businesses are planning to recycle more (36 per cent), transition to hybrid/electric vehicles (33 per cent) and install a smart meter (32 per cent).
Says Fflur Lawton, head of public affairs at Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the research:
“How businesses operate day to day is changing and the advancement in Robotics and AI is an exciting prospect for many.
“But upgrading our energy system is key to integrating more renewable power and achieving these possibilities.
“Getting a smart meter installed on your business premises is a step in the right direction and will help your business take control of its energy use.”