21 Dec Future of Workplace Flexibility – People & AI
The ability for people to interact and exchange ideas, in the increasingly knowledge-based industries that we see today, is vital for business and this needs to be facilitated in cultures where teams are located remotely. The flexibility of people allowing them to work anywhere at any time will be a defining factor in the workplaces of the future. The time people spend together will be more focused on knowledge exchange and building relationships with colleagues. The increased use of AI will contribute to this as process tasks become more automated with its introduction. AI will be able to anticipate the needs of people in the working environment and only require assistance where human approval is required to complete the task. The environments required for these interactions become less formal and more collegiate in appearance. The technology discussed is a facilitator of this type of environment as it allows more informal settings to be made available, although the ergonomic issues related to mobile devices need to be considered and the solution needs to support the activity.
Fig 1. An office environment that embraces openness and collegiate spaces.
It would be remiss not to mention AI further, although the future of AI and how it will affect people’s lives on a daily basis is a conversation on its own. AI is already in its most primitive form part of our lives in one way or another. Personal assistant applications and devices learn to anticipate our needs from the swathes of data we produce. As we produce more data these apps and devices will start to anticipate our needs to such an extent that we will come to rely on them in a symbiotic way (who knows a phone number off the top their head anymore?) that will in the future become the norm.
AI is on a current trajectory that will mean it will be an inevitable part of our lives and interact with us to a level where it becomes indistinguishable from human interaction. The form these AI computers will take is still up for debate, but it is almost inevitable that it will at least be through some sort of ‘wearable’ tech. This will allow interaction to feel more natural and it will become conversational-like in its nature rather than the awkward transference of ‘data’ that we have with machines today. These types of conversations will allow AI to be easily incorporated into the collegiate interactions already discussed to make the office environment fully immersive and connected for the users. For example, Elon Musk plans ‘Neuralink‘ to enhance the brain with technology which could then interface with the digital world.
Work will then be able to take place anywhere and at any time creating a truly flexible working environment.
All of this will enable us to have a lot more leisure time…..hopefully.
This is, of course, a short summary and a personal one, but I hope it’s made you think about the future of workplace flexibility. Please feel free to leave a comment on the article or any thoughts you might have. Also: don’t forget to share!
Author: Noel Brewster, Senior Sales Executive