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New Work and AI: How will we work tomorrow?

Clumsy hand movements on the assembly line, long file searches: In the future, AI will take over these tasks, while humans solve creative tasks.

September 27 2021Steffen Kuhn

How does New Work enable a more sustainable future?

Shorter and shorter innovation cycles, disruptive business models, climate change and the trend towards working from home: the world of work has never undergone such rapid change as it has in recent months. Companies are facing major challenges. Artificial intelligence (AI) can support the implementation of new concepts and strategies for New Work. But what lies in the future and how are intelligent algorithms already enriching working life today?

Fear of AI is a thing of the past

A hand and a robot are holding gears and meet in the middle of the picture

HR bots identify skilled workers, digital assistants plan meetings, and the lights in the office go out automatically when the last person leaves the room. Scenarios like this are already possible with today's AI technologies, and there is demand for them. According to IDG Research Services, almost two-thirds of companies are using AI technologies such as machine learning or are introducing corresponding solutions.
In order to benefit from all the advantages of AI in the future – such as automation, cost savings, or faster time-to-market – it's not simply a matter of technology, but more importantly of employee acceptance. The challenge lies in helping them to understand that AI is not a job killer, but a means of relieving pressure in areas where it can efficiently and sensibly strengthen the company's competitive edge. The key to AI projects is striking the perfect balance between technology, the working environment, and people. Guidelines create a foundation for trust in this area and take into account aspects such as ethics and privacy.

Fair recruitment thanks to AI 

AI can take a huge load off the HR team when it comes to recruitment: AI tools can use information about vacant positions in the company to scan the applicant market for suitable profiles, and evaluate them according to certain parameters. As soon as a candidate is found, a digital assistant automatically reaches out to them, arranges an interview, and guides them through the rest of the application process. A study by Kaspersky found that more than one-third of junior employees believe that using AI in the hiring process will provide more equal opportunities.
And AI can do even more: it simplifies onboarding, ensures positive employee experience, and keeps an eye out for talent. What competencies do they have? What skills are needed to drive digital transformation? AI makes valid predictions in these areas and spurs competence building.
 

Whitepaper: Brave New Work

With New Work, it's not enough to simply flip a switch. But which elements are important?

Bots free up two hours a day

Anything that can be done in HR can also be applied to any department where administrative activities slow down the workflow. Bots handle this faster and more effectively. Digital assistants can sort e-mails, coordinate appointments, and locate important documents in no time at all. They use machine learning to keep learning how employees perform tasks and base their actions on that information. They can help you structure your day-to-day work more effectively and manage it more easily. Users stand to save up to two hours a day by no longer having to deal with filing and tedious file searches.

Managers also lose time dealing with internal processes. By having AI take over these tasks, people are free to focus on developing the business. Intelligent analyses generate meaningful data to help you do this, which is available at the touch of a button on your dashboards. That is to say: transparent, objectively evaluated data forms the basis for making well-founded decisions.

AI meets the hybrid working world

In order to achieve success in our fast-paced world, hybrid working is central to the New Work approach. It allows employees to work flexibly in the office or from home. AI tools bring both working worlds together: Smart sensors report available meeting rooms and schedule them for meetings. A digital assistant can determine the duration and number of participants for the meeting, organize catering if required, and regulate the heating in the rooms. To take the wind out of the sails of those of us who are worried: AI will not create the transparent employee. Rather, AI takes on monotonous, energy-sapping, and dangerous tasks. AI-assisted robots can serve as hotel concierges, cleaners, and provide support for nursing staff in clinics and senior centers, for example. This reduces the risks and stresses that employees are exposed to. AI also provides a transparent database to help make informed business decisions and keep the company on track.

Regardless of which fields or industries artificial intelligence comes into play, people must remain at the center and there must be a balance between the technological possibilities of AI, transparent data analyses, and ethics and privacy.

Steffen Kuhn, Detecon 

What's next?

That was a small glimpse into where AI is providing real added value for New Work – and it's definitely not the end of the journey. In the coming years, autonomous driving, for example, will become a central topic, including in the world of work. While a car transports an employee to their next customer appointment, the employee can prepare for the meeting or take care of other organizational tasks. This would give mobile working a new dimension. 

At the same time, it raises further questions with regard to technology: What are the limits or shortcomings of AI for New Work? What is the right balance of human ingenuity and AI? The exact answers to these questions are yet to be reached. In any case, I look forward to the upcoming innovative models and projects. If you are planning to implement the New Work approach and are interested in having a concept tailored to your company, do not hesitate to contact me!  

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About the author
IM-Kuhn-Steffen

Steffen Kuhn

Managing Partner , Detecon

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