Workplaces of the future will aim to create better-equipped employees, who are empowered with smart tech, rather than hindered by it. The likes of digital assistants, interactive whiteboards and voice-controlled devices will be commonplace in all modern workplaces going forward. The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be beneficial to all areas of a business, but HR departments specifically will see great benefits, enticing and retaining top talent, whilst improving the interviewing and onboarding processes.
Incorporating AI into existing tech
For some companies, there seems to be a reticence to fully embrace AI in the workplace. This is perhaps understandable with the sensationalist headlines in the media, that give the impression AI will leave millions out of work. But, whilst those stories grab headlines, they are misleading in terms of the positive role that AI can play in the future of work.
AI does not have to be threatening or overbearing; in fact, the likelihood is that in most cases it will be far from that – improving the workplace experience instead. In the future of work, AI will likely be deployed as an extension of existing tools, with the aim of enhancing pre-existing technology; improving the resources that employers and employees have at their disposal.
Assisting the workforce with AI
As an example of how AI can be integrated into existing technology, to play a key role in the future of work, BlueJeans recently announced the new Meetings Platform, which has embraced AI to make video meetings simple and productive. The new platform incorporates AI in various different forms; from Amazon Echo voice control, to Kaptivo interactive whiteboards and Voicera digital assistants.
Advancements like this provide a great insight into what intelligent workspaces will look like in the very near future – with the deployment of technology, that can be used to improve both the worker experience and office efficiency. Smart offices should empower employees to do their best work and take pride in their workplace.
How AI will benefit the People Team
Strategic use of AI could see People Teams benefit more than most across the business; as utilising smart tech, that can help to improve collaboration and productivity will no doubt be enticing to potential candidates. The importance of a well-equipped office that has up-to-date tech can sometimes be underappreciated, but employers would do well to fight against that notion. Research from Sharp revealed that technology in the workplace is a major pain point for workers, with 51% of respondents expressing frustration with out-dated and restrictive technology. This is an increasingly important issue with millennial employees continuing to make up a large percentage of the workforce.
While prospects are unaware of the kinds of technology a company runs when they are recruited, once they have joined, it could really put them off if the tech doesn’t meet the standards they have come to expect in their private lives. This is particularly true in ‘the age of the millennials’, where expectations of tech are higher than from other members of the workforce. And once new-joiners have a negative tech-related experience, they will use it as a lens to look at other aspects of the company experience. If a company isn’t prepared to invest in the necessary tech, what else are they failing to invest in?
People Teams would also do well to adopt digital assistants, such as Voicera’s Eva, which offers a practical transcription solution; listening, taking notes and providing intelligent highlights from meetings or interviews. Voicera’s Eva also ensures that any interviewer unable to attend in person is still able to make a fair assessment of candidates, rather than relying on the word of mouth. Full transcripts and recordings are saved down and are available to be shared with all attendees and non-attendees straight after the interview, so that everyone is up to speed. This also allows interviewers to re-watch interviews to make the most informed hiring decisions possible.
At BlueJeans, we have also integrated Kaptivo interactive whiteboards into our Meetings Platform. This tool can help to transform mundane meetings into engaging, productive and collaborative experiences. The technology allows users to capture images and live stream content, enabling staff to host meetings that are interesting and capable of providing detailed, and interactive sessions. For People Teams, this will revolutionise the way businesses onboard and train new employees; providing an interactive presentation that shows step-by-step processes, rather than a mountain of paperwork. As a result, new-joiners will be brought up to speed in an immersive manner and a far cry from the traditional methods of onboarding, which is a win-win for the whole company.
The smart office of the future will make intelligent use of the latest technology, often integrating processes for convenience and to save valuable time where possible. Additionally, the future of work will not just be about automation, it will be about encouraging high-quality collaboration amongst staff. From a People perspective, emerging technologies such as AI will help to attract and retain the best talent. With an increasingly tech-savvy workforce, businesses will be increasingly judged on the technology they can provide employees. The People Team will benefit from these investments, and in a highly competitive job market, these investments could make a real impact on the business.
About Debbie Murray
Debbie is an experienced leader who empowers organisations through innovative people engagement and retention strategies. She oversees the human resources, change initiatives, and talent strategies at BlueJeans and brings over 15+ years of experience leading large scale human resources and people management in the enterprise software space. Before joining BlueJeans, Debbie was VP of People at DataStax where she defined, developed, and drove organisational effectiveness. She has a BA in Organizational Communication from the University of San Diego.