Manufacturing was already in the midst of incorporating Industry 4.0 technologies like cooperative robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) to remain competitive when the pandemic hit.

 The global public health response forced manufacturers to accelerate automation and rapidly enable remote work for as much of their workforce as possible. In fact, in 2020, 73% of manufacturers said they planned to invest in new technology to facilitate remote work, according to a survey from SYSPRO. 

There are strong benefits for manufacturers associated with the hybrid workplace, especially for workers in the “carpeted space” who work in engineering, finance, sales, and other critical functions. For starters, it expands the talent pool, because manufacturers no longer are restricted to applicants that reside within a 50-mile radius of their facilities. In fact, they may be able to reduce labor costs by hiring skilled workers from lower-cost areas. What’s more, if people are working from home even for just part of the week, manufacturers can downsize to smaller space, which saves on rent, utilities, and upkeep for the office portion of their facilities.

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