The future of work is on its way, but what does that future actually look like? With organizations focusing more on the needs of the employee than ever before, it’s likely that successful transformation projects will be measured in things such as employee wellness and job satisfaction, not just a monetary value.
The view that artificial intelligence is destined to replace humans is gone and, as well as bringing much-needed updates to the way they do business, organizations are increasingly finding new and innovative ways to use AI and Cognitive tech for the benefit of all employees. With that in mind, I’m certain the workplace of the future will be a step up from where we are now – here’s what I think we can look forward to:
Happier, healthier people
This could be the optimist in me, but I truly believe that the workplace of the future will house some of the happiest and healthiest people yet. Flexible working has never been easier thanks to a good mix of video conferencing, chat apps and Cognitive Technology. People can now easily work from home or pick their kids up from school without the headache that used to come with it, leading to much greater job satisfaction. Medical technology has also advanced so far in the past few years that I can ask a machine learning assisted bot to diagnose my illness, book and attend a GP appointment, and even get therapy, all via apps on my phone.
At the very least, increased accessibility to high-quality, inexpensive healthcare (regardless of whether a human or a bot is providing it) and more flexibility in our working arrangements will help us to get well faster and take fewer sick days.
More diverse workforce
This is a tricky one – we’ve all seen the news reports about how AI amplifies the bias of its developers, and how that is having an affect AI-assisted recruitment, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you immediately dismissed this point. However, I do believe that these biases aren’t inherent in the technology and – with a lot of hard work, better hiring practices and stricter regulation on the use of AI in recruitment – I definitely think AI can be a force for good.
Once all the kinks are worked out, there’s a real opportunity here for AI to assist in the recruitment process and ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and without bias. There are already apps on the market that help to ensure fairness when applying internal company policies to things like absence management, performance ratings and parental leave requests, so I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to assume that this can be done for recruitment as well.
As someone (probably) once said, “with great technology comes great productivity.” Advanced technologies like AI and Cognitive Agents will no doubt remove most of the tasks that we generally don’t like to do, leaving us more time to focus on the things that really matter. Any other tasks will be much easier, much quicker, and much less mind-numbing, so we can be more productive in the same amount of time. I, for one, can’t wait to say goodbye to form filling, FAQ answering, and the excruciatingly long wait after an “I’ll get back to you” email response!
The future is now
The thing that a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that this technology already exists today, and these things are happening right now – this is more about what we’ll be doing in the next 5 years than the next 500. If you ever find yourself wondering why your organization seems to be stuck in the dark ages while others are exceeding expectations, give this post a thought. Maybe it’s time for you to finally join us in the future of work!