Technology is likely to transform the workplace for most of us over the coming years, but there is a need to look beyond the headlines about the numbers of jobs lost to robots and consider more widely what effects this wave of automation will have on different segments of the workforce.

This paper by IPA and Acas looks at technology from the perspective of different groups of prospective winners and losers. On the positive side, it offers us improved physical health, more productivity, less drudgery and fewer dull repetitive tasks. It also enables more remote and flexible forms of working, as well the possibility of attaining the elusive goal of eliminating human biases and prejudices. There is also a likely major financial windfall for highly skilled workers and those living in hub cities.

On the other hand, for low skilled workers, for those living in smaller towns and cities away from the major tech hubs, or those with knowledge-based skills, the future of work looks considerably less rosy. There is also the risk that more of the workforce end up engaged in either unpaid 'reproductive' labour, or paid but meaningless 'bullshit jobs', loaded with pointless busywork. People who prefer to segment their home and work lives are likely to find it increasingly hard to do so as the work-life boundary becomes more and more blurred. Finally, there are real dangers as well as opportunities in handing control over more of our workplace decision-making to AI and algorithms - while the possibility of more objective and evidence-based decisions is real, so too lie dangers of embedding hidden biases or even abandoning human ethics altogether.

Download the full report here.