Article (October-2020)


Future of Workplace - What the author of The Da Vinci Code has to say about it?

Shankar Krishnamoorthy

Designation : -   Co-Founder & CEO

Organization : -  Synergita, Chennai


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witHave you read Dan Brown's origin book? There is a lot that Dan Brown has to tell about dness the remarkable event that will be later on called history.

In a few years, we will not be there because a new species is evolving. It has already started to be a part of our population, and it will soon dominate our race. It's shocking, right? That's true. Dan Brown calls it the era of Technium and the age of lifeless things. We will not be erased from the face of the earth, but the new species will blend seamlessly with our lifestyle. We will not be the old us then. Imagine our lifestyle 20 years back, we did not have a smartphone or WhatsApp or AirPods, etc. Now, the world has completely changed. When you walk on a road, there is a low percentage of people without a smartphone or earphones in their ears. If a person with a keypad mobile tries to build his/her personal branding in today's fast-moving world, it is highly impossible.

Similarly, organizations with no digitally transformed workplace or a working plan are heading on a path that will lead nowhere. The Technium era has long back invaded the companies, and so it is important to allow the species to seamlessly integrate with the organization rather than resisting it. With the influx of millennial workforce and advanced technology, it is not possible to keep the digitization away. The impact of COVID-19 along with the increasing millennials in the workforce and the novel technology is shaping the future of the workplace.

According to Forbes, either 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or they are working on one. But only 21% have completed the digital transformation process. There are companies that have started to leverage the power of artificial intelligence. To sustain and thrive in this changing business environment, organizations should become people-centric and rely on technology to get the maximum results.

Data-driven strategic decisions will be taken

The tech tools provide the data on measurable goals and KPIs, from which companies can gain insights, analyze patterns, predict the upcoming business trends, and formulate strategies accordingly. Before bringing in the tech tools to deliver the required analytics, a data culture has to be created to support the technology. A survey by NewVantage Partners suggests that 98.6 decision-makers want to create a data-driven culture but only 32.4 percent have successfully done it. In 2018, the IDC study reveals that companies are investing billions and trillions of dollars in creating an agile and data-centric culture but almost 70% of them fail because they do not focus on the culture before purchasing the technology. Therefore, to make data-based decisions, a company should have appropriate technology and a supportive culture.

Artificial Intelligence is the future

According to EY research, "organizations enabling AI at the enterprise level are increasing operational efficiency, making faster, more informed decisions and innovating new products and services." The power of AI and ML is already being tested out in everyday business operations such as performance management, customer support, recruitment, onboarding, and in various engagement activities. Artificial intelligence enables seamless interactions between the management and the employees, customers, and interview candidates. Research is being carried out on how the industries can be transformed with the help of artificial intelligence. Employees fear that their jobs are at risk due to the introduction of this advanced technology, but it is not so. AI spares the time and effort of humans, and so the employees can focus on more productive work. Upskilling and cross-skilling ensure that employees learn to leverage AI to its maximum power. Artificial Intelligence is the future. Therefore, the government should plan education systems accordingly, so that the future workforce is able to understand the true potential of the AI impacted workplace.

Sentiment analysis to procure qualitative data

When the executives fail to make a meaningful analysis of the collected data from the employees or customers, the strategies formed upon the misleading reports will also fail. In order to steer clear of such a situation and make the best use of the numbers and answers, the sentiment analysis technology in surveys and feedback forms can be really helpful in obtaining qualitative as well as quantitative data. The qualitative data can help HR in eliminating the neutral answers, where an employee fills the form for namesake, and focus on real concerns of the employees and also be proud of the strengths of the organization. Sentiment analysis helps in building an innovative and hassle-free culture by revealing the thoughts of the employees and the true feedback of the workforce on how the organization is run and maintained. The opinion mining technology can also reduce manager bias and encourage the superiors to deliver constructive feedback to help employees work on their areas for improvement.

A Hybrid model and flexibility are future influencers in choosing a workplace

The sudden disruption in work due to coronavirus has led the employees to realize the importance of work-life balance. At the same time, the employees miss their colleagues and also the breaks they used to take from their work, which is lacking in the present-day work from home model. Employees expect organizations to embrace work from anywhere model, which implies that location should not be a problem as long as it doesn't affect the productivity, wellbeing, collaboration, and personal connection with the company. 74% of Gen Z employees prefer the hybrid approach, which is deciding on the time spent in office and home.

Thus, the future of work will be a model that attracts the incoming workforce population. Employers will also stop giving higher importance to the work hours, rather they would focus on the productivity and targets achieved.

Shankar Krishnamoorthy - Co-Founder & CEO at Synergita, Chennai