Advanced technologies will profoundly impact the way people work, where they work, and how they connect with customers and colleagues. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), and the internet of things (IoT), the line between the physical and virtual work environment is blurring, and the workplace is becoming more virtual.
Sixty-three percent of the 319 executives recently surveyed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services say that increasing productivity is the strategic goal that informs which technologies get chosen at their organizations. To realize this productivity wave, organizations are transforming their structures and workflows to mirror the distributed nature of work, an effort, in turn, made possible by new technologies. Intelligent technologies such as AI, AR/VR, and the sensor technologies behind the IoT are changing business models, organizational structures, and, above all, the way workers collaborate and make decisions.
But organizations face several challenges, including the siloing of data and the failure to integrate intelligent technologies’ growing diversity properly. The workforce itself presents executives with an odd dilemma—how do organizations accommodate the various work styles of the five generations that now comprise the labor pool? The nature of work is morphing, too. People want to roam, whether it’s switching jobs often or striking out on their own as part of the gig economy. Organizations find themselves having to cater to both structured and unstructured environments.
As a result, navigating the road ahead means marshaling intelligent technologies and integrating them to work together to help executives increase employee productivity, acquire talent, and optimize for the future of work, whether it’s in a physical workplace or done remotely. The process not only depends on technological execution but instilling a culture of engagement when it comes to workers and customers within the organization. In other words, workers must not just adopt technology but embrace it and grow with it.
Highlights of the Report
To learn more about what’s on the minds of executives, how intelligent technologies are influencing the Future of Work, and how to redefine work with intelligent technologies read the detailed Harvard Business Review Analytics Survey report.