Future of Work

The large majority (85%) of business leaders, human resources (HR) professionals, and learning and development experts believe that the success of the future of work involves a strategic combination of humans and technology. This is according to a poll conducted by Kronos Incorporated that asked for opinions on the future of work and the role technology plays in transforming the workplace.

Kronos polled attendees at the CIPD Festival of Work, a landmark event for both people professionals and business leaders, that aims to advise on the latest transformations driving a human future of work.

The poll discovered that while employers understand the need for humans and technology to work in harmony, very few have put this into practise, with only a quarter (25%) currently using HR technologies that harness artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to drive positive transformation for employees. However, nearly half (45%) of those who do not currently use AI-enabled HR technologies are planning to do so in the future.

These figures demonstrate that leaders understand the positive transformation that leveraging next-generation HR and workforce technologies can have for both employees and customers, and this is set to increase in the coming years as more organisations invest in transformative technologies that streamline tasks to drive efficiencies.

Not only can AI and machine learning drive greater productivity by streamlining manual processes and delivering insightful workforce data in real-time, they also have a positive impact on attracting and retaining talent – as indicated in “The Engaging Opportunity Survey” series from The Workforce Institute at Kronos. This research found that 92% of UK employees say that AI could improve their job, with over a third believing that it could both enable them to focus on more important tasks and not waste their time on basic tasks (38%) and make tasks quicker as fewer processes would have to be completed manually (37%).

Today’s always-on, tech-driven society expect workplace technology to operate intuitively, smoothly, and efficiently while reflecting the standards they have become accustomed to in their personal lives, as evidenced in the fact that half (50%) of those surveyed wished their workplace technology performed in a similar manner to what they experience in their personal lives, according to the same Workforce Institute survey. We know that technology can help attract employees, with 72% stating that they would like to have a work-issued laptop for carrying out their daily tasks, and 64% saying a work-issued mobile phone would be beneficial, so organisations that fulfil this desire for employees will have a competitive advantage and find it easier to both attract and retain top talent.

The poll also asked respondents how they would describe the future of work – the words most frequently associated were noted as ‘flexibility’ and ‘technology’. This further reinforces a need for technology to be implemented in order to facilitate innovation and for organisations to remain competitive in terms of the flexibility they offer. Together, these offerings represent the future of work and the fundamentals for future successful business operations.

Peter Harte, Vice President, Enterprise, EMEA, Kronos “Business success will only come with the complete harmonisation of people and technology – not one or the other. The organisations that will win understand the need to invest in workforce technologies as well as change management strategies to ensure their people are reaping maximum benefits. Remember, people will innovate, technology will facilitate.”

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