How AI will power the Future of Work

How AI will power the Future of Work

Imagine having a digital assistant to schedule your next meeting or speaking to a chatbot to help you finalize a challenging task at work. Forward-thinking companies are implementing AI already, with Amazon launching Alexa for Business last year and Google recently trialling its Duplex human-sounding AI. A recent report from Gartner suggests that technology like this will be more commonplace, with one in five workers set to have a machine as their ‘co-worker’ by 2022.

Improving employee experience and productivity

For businesses to thrive in the future of work, humans will need to work in tandem with AI. Get this right, and they’ll have the tools they need to increase productivity and master a more personalized experience for their employees. During our recent Atos Technology Days event in Paris, we introduced CHO, your own Chief Happiness Officer in your pocket. The technology is operated via a smart mobile assistant and user interface with two-way communication. The CHO can monitor moods and gather actionable insights for both the employee and manager.

Each CHO is unique – over time it will learn from your behavior and data insights to provide you with personal advice. For example, it can take regular pulse measurements to gauge your mood before, during or after an activity or event. On an aggregated level, managers can gain real-time insights into mood, receive feedback and make decisions suited to the individual which in turn, can greatly improve employee experience. The CHO belongs to our extensive Employee-Experience-as-a-Service offering, which will go-to-market later this year.

AI creates opportunities

While there are some concerns about the impact of automation on jobs, AI is not about replacing people. Instead, it’s much more focused on elevating certain skills, optimizing jobs and creating opportunities for more interesting work. For example, AI can free up time for staff to carry out tasks that are better suited to humans, such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. These are the top three skills deemed essential by the World Economic Forum.

A recent McKinsey report estimates that by 2030, robotics and AI will take human jobs in less than 5% of roles. But on the other side of the coin, it has also been reported that technology will enhance 60% of jobs, rather than displace humans altogether. To prepare for this, it’s essential for employers to consider relevant training and reskilling programs to help their existing workforce adjust and excel in the working environment.

Together with the CIO Watercooler we recently conducted a survey amongst 100 CIOs to determine their readiness for the future of work. 75% felt concerned about the impact of automation and digitalization on their organizations and around half were aware that some roles were under pressure from AI. However, only a third had a plan in place to address the challenges that lie ahead.

How to prepare for the AI revolution

At the same time, new organizational structures, flexible working, the increasingly global talent pool and multi-generational workforce add to the challenges and stress levels of both managers and employees. In this constantly changing environment how can organizations ensure a great employee experience that will help to accelerate digital transformation and deliver better business results?

To prepare for the AI revolution, employers need to become more data-driven and use technologies at their fingers tips to improve working practices.  Here I’ve outlined my top three pointers to consider to support staff through the future of work:

  1. Establish a culture of collaboration to unleash innovation – learning from each other in an environment where it is safe to make mistakes will be essential to ensure new techniques and working practices can be tested
  2. Drive intelligent productivity – empower employees to focus their time, energy and brain power on the issues that really matter to them and to the organization. This will help to keep employees engaged and keen to learn more
  3. Make company assets accessible  by having a culture of openness, information and knowledge can be shared easily, helping talent can thrive

AI is rapidly changing the world of work as we know it, from digital assistants to robot colleagues. Akin to the Industrial Revolution before this, employers will need to prepare their employees to adapt and thrive in the future of work. AI is not something to be feared, but a necessary movement to propel society into the next age where technology can improve the lives of individuals, businesses and the wider community.

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