Is it offensive to say "utilize someone"?

Automated factories perform better than those that utilize human workers.

If it is, could you please give me a polite and positive alternative?

  • 7
    What's wrong with employ? Oct 22 '21 at 7:41
  • 2
    If you think that's offensive, wait until you hear about "human resources" and also "put more resource on the problem" as a way of saying "ask more people to look at it"!
    – rjpond
    Oct 22 '21 at 10:09
  • Or the commonly used "exploit" - sounds reasonable to managers, less so to the workers Oct 22 '21 at 10:57
  • 1
    The trick is that employ is less offensive and it also means utilize,
    – Lambie
    Oct 22 '21 at 15:23

Workplaces treat people as resources, so utilize is appropriate here.

There is no actual, real polite way to directly say "machines are better than people", so the least offensive way to express this will be to not mention people at all.

For factories, a strong correlation exists between high performance and process automation utilization rate.

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