The world of work is changing every day very fast, without us having time to realise it. From robots that organise the online orders, deliver news or even lift a patient from their chair/bed to people who work remotely at least one day a week (Forbes, 2019).
And something most of the businesses agree with is that the future of work will be based on technology in order for them to control costs and increase their competitive advantages (Cordoniou, 2019). Therefore, employees would have to expect an increase of interaction with Artificial Intelligence (AI), job reengineering, more remote work and a need to find new ways to connect with other in a virtual culture and world.
Following are the three trends that I believe will be critical to the workplace of the future as they are key principals for all businesses that wants to succeed and meet the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.
1. Interacting with AI
“Success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation. [It will be] either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.” Stephen Hawking
According to Pega Systems, a software for customer engagement, 84% of people in the UK interact with AI in their daily tasks but only 34% of them know they are using this technology (Ciosummits, 2019). Your Netflix recommendations are driven by AI as so as it probably is the job search website, or even, your LinkedIn Account. AI is getting into almost everything of what we do or use but most important, in the way we work and communicate to each other (Forbes, 2019).
Amazon Robots in Warehouse (NTEB, 2019)
In the last year, five of the world’s biggest technology companies bought British AI businesses as for example, Deep Mind (acquire by Google), SwiftKey (bought by Microsoft) and Magic Pony Technology (acquire by Twitter). Subsequently, a new AI company is launched almost every week (The Guardian, 2019).
Its goal is not to replace humans, but to help automate functions and complete tasks in less time, increasing the efficiency in a business (Hoganinjury, 2019). Moreover, it is also transforming the way we communicate among each other but also how brands engage with customers (The Guardian, 2019). It increases the engagement in people, enhance the impact of a message, reduce the time needed to deliver a message, improve a person’s confidence and fulfilment.
The manufacturing industry has been the first one in implementing this technology into repetitive and difficult tasks, reducing the probability of accidents and damages. As it is integrated into other industries and workplace, the interaction between robots and humans will be essential for finishing tasks.
2. Remote Working
Working Remote - UK Cafe and Bars (The Infatuation, 2019)
Almost everyone has had the experience of working remote for at least one day. In fact, by 2020, it is expected that 50% of UK workforce to work remotely from their homes- along with the benefits of having a work-life flexibility and integration, increasing their productivity and lower the environmental impact of using vehicles to commute to work (Remote, 2019).
Statistics about remote work shows that 82% of employees reported lower stress levels, however, the Office of National Statistics (ONS, 2019) has shown that nearly 80% of UK workers admitted they find it hard to communicate and collaborate when joining meetings remotely.
And as nice as it sounds in the theory, working remotely also brings challenges. Remote workers have less interaction with their colleagues, there’s no time in the hallway to have a chat or some drinks after work. Also, it is more difficult to find opportunities for promotion or to be taken into consideration in an office, where physically you are not really there (Forbes, 2019). Furthermore, it brings the topic of more sense in this new type of workplace: we’re more digitally connected that ever, but consequently, we are becoming increasingly disconnected physically.
3. Human connections
Even though it is believed that thanks to technology we are even more connected between us than before, it is also true that loneliness is increasingly popular among population derive from the emptiness of human interaction (Forbes, 2019). In fact, the World Health Organisation has reported that depression is now number one cause of global ill health (WHO, 2019).
As interactions with robots and working remotely become part of our work environment; finding ways to connect with others will be essential for our mental and emotional well-being (Forbes, 2019). Therefore, the seek for new ways to connect and meet people will be part of the trends in the future – having lunch with friends once a week, visiting the office, joining social clubs or even fitness centres.
These three trends, although they are improving the way we work and live, will also bring new challenges and consequences that we will have to deal with. How willing are we to take those risks as a society in order to develop industries and reduce costs?
- Card, J. (2019). A new company every week: inside the UK's AI revolution. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2017/may/15/artificial-intelligence-professor-stephen-hawking-sodash-crystal-xero [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- Codorniou, J. (2019). 6 Trends Shaping a Future for People in the Workplace. [online] Entrepreneur. Available at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309804 [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- Forbes.com. (2019). Three Future Workplace Realities You Must Be Prepared For. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2018/10/14/three-future-workplace-realities-you-must-be-prepared-for/#15737a85500e [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- Hoganinjury.com. (2019). Workplace Robotics & Artificial Intelligence | Hogan Injury. [online] Available at: https://www.hoganinjury.com/workplace-robotics-artificial-intelligence/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- IT Pro Portal. (2019). How leaders can prepare for AI in the workplace. [online] Available at: https://www.itproportal.com/features/how-leaders-can-prepare-for-ai-in-the-workplace/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].
- Who.int. (2019). Home. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/ [Accessed 10 Feb. 2019].