Changing Workplace Trends: 2017

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Technology is pervading the workplace like never before, transforming the very fundamentals of work dynamics. The latest emerging models such as cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics and so on are revolutionizing the way people interact and produce output. A report by McKinsey states that 45% of jobs will become redundant due to AI-led automation, and 7% of those jobs will be lost by 2025.  The norms of flexibility, better efficiency, productivity, and mobility are said to be the key game changers that will shape the future of work. Here is a deeper look at this newly shaped future of work.
2017 is providing us a glimpse into what the coming workplace will be like. This is just the beginning, with flexible work arrangements, data-driven decision making, and “smarter” solutions just being piloted in various domains. These tech-driven workplace changes will continue to gain much precedence in the coming years. Here are the drivers that will fuel those changes:
1. Increased Efficiency: As AI spreads its effects across industries and work levels, the workplace will become more efficient. In a world that requires constant collaboration and communication, AI will come to the rescue in the form of scheduling assistants. Manual activities such as scheduling meetings by matching time slots, and sending out meeting-related communication will now be automated. Transactional jobs will be increasingly replaced by robots, leading to reduced human error, and thereby more accuracy of output. This will improve the quality of work for human workers by allowing them to focus on more value-adding strategic tasks. Automation will thus help drive efficiencies across a more mobile and global workforce.
2. Better productivity: AI-led communication will help break down silos and enhance collaboration, thereby bettering productivity. Workers will find new avenues to be their best selves, by better utilizing their knowledge and skills. This will also apply to a virtual, geographically spread workforce, thereby making virtual teams a reality, and a successful one at that. This enhanced productivity will directly benefit organizations’ bottom lines.
3. Flexibility: Flexibility will find an altogether new meaning as automation and virtual collaboration become a reality. New work norms such as telecommuting and remote working, part-time workers, consultants, freelancers, bring-your-own-device, etc. will become more popular, and organizations will be more accepting of these new trends. This will be possible, with new scheduling flexibility applications coming to the core of the business. Leaders will turn to technology again, to seamlessly integrate this new workforce of non-standard norms with a parallel full-time, on-site working population.
4. Increased mobility: Mobile is the way ahead for work. Due to flexible work options the workforce is becoming more global and is always on the move. As technology utilities such as smartphones, tablets, and two-in-one laptops become more available to the general public, they will support more instances of mobile working. Organizations are already developing their custom enterprise applications to support an always-on-the-move workforce. An important factor that will determine sustainability of this norm is whether cybersecure and safe devices and measures are being incorporated along with mobile working policies.
5. Tech-driven staffing: Recruitment and screening no longer involves the recruiter sifting through hundreds of resumes manually, trying to find the best fit. AI automation is providing the best of keyword-matching capabilities to sail through that stage. However, recruitment will become more complex as companies look not only for a great skill-match but for a detailed culture-match and role-match. That is where extra information about the candidate through social recruiting will come handy and help recruiters take the right talent decisions.
The future of work is changing fast. Organizations must foresee these changes and blend in the latest technology and people strategy with the business strategy to create a workforce that helps create an unparalleled competitive advantage.