What do you want from technology in the workplace? Market research firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) recently interviewed 3,801 employees around the world about their technology expectations.
AI and automation are the big concerns
PSB found that respondents were expecting to be more mobile and to do less work face-to-face. They were also expecting to be more capable – using artificial intelligence to give them a boost – and more productive. However, they're worried about losing jobs to automation and AI.
It's not an unreasonable fear: McKinsey reported in 2017 that nearly half (49 per cent) of jobs across 800 occupations (from junior to C-suite) could be automated with existing or soon-to-be-introduced technology – some 1 billion jobs (and $15.8 trillion in wages).
Current tech is okay – but workers want more
Unsurprisingly perhaps – given what employees are picturing for the near future – employees are becoming dissatisfied with the technology in their current workplaces. They want their training enhanced with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and they think the Internet of Things (IoT) is exciting. More than 50% of them expect to be working in a smart office within the next five years.
This connects with Forbes' report that millennials see technology as a tool for personal growth, looking favourably on learning management systems (LMSes) and the organisations that provide them. They want businesses to be about more than just business – and they want to be provided with the tools and training they need to make a difference.
Fortunately, most respondents said their workplaces are smart enough (for now). Eight percent even think their office is "too smart". But 44% don’t think they work in a smart office, a number that will only grow if IT departments don’t keep pace with expectations. Millennials are the most likely to head for the door if the office isn’t smart, with 42% saying a dumb office would see them heading for the exit.
Time is precious – so don't waste it
The biggest time wasters at work are IT's fault, say employees: