The future of remote work is a hotly debated topic, with employees pulling for more time away from the office and many employers preferring to keep workers where they can see them. In the end, organizations will most likely settle on a hybrid work environment that blends various degrees of work-from-home (WFH) and in-office activity.
As vital as it proved to be during the pandemic, however, WFH was not without its drawbacks. Poor connectivity, potential security issues, and convoluted workflows plagued many businesses as they tried to keep afloat during the lock-downs. So if this model is to flourish in the post-pandemic world, new technologies will have to step up to satisfy the needs of workers and bosses alike.
AI Drives smart support
Artificial intelligence has the potential to significantly improve the workplace from home, providing much-needed communication support, collaboration, workflow management, and even security. But getting there will not be as easy as downloading new software and letting it work. Businesses across the board will need to carefully consider the ways in which AI should support future employees and the extent to which it can influence workflow and business models.
Establish a solid foundation for AI
The best way to start is to establish a solid foundation for AI. As AI thrives with data, the central repository of all business data is important, and this can only be done in the cloud. In a world where data access has to be limited to employees at home, in the office or anywhere else, only the cloud has the potential to bring about such wide communication. At the same time, the cloud makes it easy to search and share documents, email and other files, and offers advanced security, zero-touch properties, threat analysis and other ways to ensure access to data is properly controlled – all of which AI can add as an ecosystem scale of data in both size and complexity.
Once this foundation is established, organizations can strategically use AI across a range of processes to help ensure that work is done, regardless of where the work resides. Information management, for the first time, is very beneficial to AI to help identify those who have the necessary knowledge and skills to accomplish a particular project.
Need of the hour
One thing the pandemic has accomplished in the mixed workplace is to show that the need, in fact, breeds new things. All leading work platforms and collaborations coordinate AI development in response to the rapid growth of long-distance work. A number of ways AI is used to improve the performance of the platform and incorporate new features include: Sound intelligence, for one thing, helps ensure that only proper speech is moving, not barking dogs or alarms, no matter how far the microphone is.
As hybrid activity becomes commonplace in the digital workplace, we can expect AI to offer more than just a supportive role but also an active participant. Few platforms are advanced with chat AI, giving chatbots the ability to mimic human speech. Chat AI is driven by three key business changes: SaaS integration, business messaging and advances in natural language (NLU) understanding. Although the technology is by no means perfect, Shah says emerging strategies such as advanced spelling correction and mathematical modelling models will allow chatbots to have the ability to respond to a conversation rather than predict it.
Indeed, some participating businesses will resist the transition to mixed work, especially for fear that unsupervised employees will lack the motivation to donate everything. But while workers’ time in their home work may be difficult to monitor, their productivity does not. And as AI is ready to analyze business performance across the granular level, many organizations will likely find that job flexibility will be useful, not a bust, to a business model.