Technology has proven invaluable in the fight against the coronavirus but equally invaluable have proven to be the ethos and heroics that people manifested in the progression of this crisis.

The human factor transcended its physical capabilities taking control and leadership of the criticality of the situation. This, in my opinion, is largely owed to the fact that humans alone possess emotions. For it is these emotions that when combined with intelligence, rational or otherwise, generate the genius or the extraordinary that we have all witnessed and admired.


If humans can play such a positively deciding role in conditions of crisis, why not recreate those similar conditions to generate similar human behaviours at the workplace and society in our days of normality?

Contrary, if, in the name of technological efficiency, we allow people to be constantly marginalized, the less they will develop their capacity to play this high role. For, though efficiency comes from technology and algorithms, stamina and creativity can only come from humans.


The creative power of humans, as most will acknowledge, is important for the top jobs, but less so for the jobs at the lower levels where efficiency is what most people are after. And here lies the challenge we face; we cannot create enough jobs at the top to justify the employment of a great number of humans, nor do we seem to be able to rethink more creatively the lower level jobs to justify that humans will be the ones that can best perform them.


A firm’s function is not limited only to producing goods for the needs of society. It has a second equally important function to give back to society the means for its people to take possession of (to buy) the produced goods through the wages from employment.

Even, the hypothetical case that firms were run completely with machines, without people, achieving the most efficient production of goods, will not be viable; For, if people, for the lack of employment, have no money, who is going to buy those goods and from whom could these firms get their income and finance? Unless we raised all those people’s status to producers or entrepreneurs of different kinds so as to create some sort of a barter trade and solved all the associated problems, which is impractical.


So, can we answer the question posed by the title of this piece as to whether today’s firms need people? My concluding answer is Yes, they do as much as they need technology. The challenge, however, is to find the ways to harmoniously couple the workforce with the galloping technology, a scope promising to usher in new levels of well-being for both the business and society.



About the author: Panikos Sardos is the Managing Director of P&E Sardos Business Solutions Int., a management consulting firm that offers advisory services, coaching and training. You are welcome to communicate with us by email: or telephone: +357 99640912, +357 24400884, or visit us at