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Remote work is hotly debated. Employees want more time away from the workplace, while employers want their workers to be close to home. We will most likely end up with a hybrid work environment which combines work-from home (WFH), and in-office activity.
WFH was vital during the pandemic. However, it had its downsides. Many businesses were unable to connect, had security issues and had complicated workflows as they tried their best to stay afloat during the lockdowns. This model will not survive in a post-pandemic world without new technologies.
AI drives intelligent support
Artificial intelligence has the potential to greatly improve work-fromhome environments. It provides much-needed support in communications, collaboration, workflow and security. It will take more than just installing new software and letting it work. All businesses will need to consider how AI can be used to support their workforce and how it can affect workflows and business models.
Establishing a strong AI foundation is the best way to get started. Alex SmithGlobal AI product lead for iManage, knowledge work platform. AI thrives off data so a central repository of all enterprise data is crucial. This can only be done in a cloud. The cloud is the only way to provide this wide connectivity in a world where workers must have access to their data from anywhere, at any time. The cloud also makes it easier to share files, email, and documents. It also provides advanced security, zero touch architectures, threat analysis, and other means to ensure data access is properly managed. All of these can be enhanced by AI as the data ecosystem grows in size and complexity.
Once this foundation has been established, organizations can strategically apply AI across a variety of processes to ensure that the work gets done regardless of where the employee is located. AI is a great tool for knowledge management. It helps identify those who have the necessary experience and skills to complete a specific project.
AI’s ability to support hybrid work environments is a way to dispel one of the greatest fears about the technology. It will not take your job away, but it will allow you to work wherever and whenever you want. In Ciscos inaugural Global Hybrid Work IndexAI is prominently featured as one of the key drivers for work in the near future. The enterprise saw a 200% increase in the use AI to facilitate remote meeting engagements between July and September 2021. These included noise reduction and automatic translation and transcription, polling and gesture recognition.
When you are in need
One thing that the pandemic did for hybrid work environments was to show that necessity can actually breed innovation. All the top collaboration and work platforms have started AI development in response the rapid rise of remote working. Webex Chris RowenRecently, we highlighted the many ways AI can be used to improve performance and incorporate new features. Audio intelligence, for example, ensures that only relevant speech is being heard, and not barking dogs and sirens, no matter how close the speaker is to a microphone. Webex Assistant now offers real-time translation and closed captioning, allowing users to communicate in more than 100 languages.
As hybrid work becomes more common in digital workplaces, we can expect AI will play more than a supporting role. It will be an active participant. Platforms like Moveworks are moving forward with conversational artificial intelligence, which gives chatbots the ability mimic human speech. VentureBeats Future of Work Summit CEO Bhavin Sharma explained that conversational artificial intelligence is driven by three key transitions: SaaS integration (employee messaging), and advances in natural languages understanding (NLU). Shah said that while the technology is far from perfect, Shah stated that emerging techniques like statistical grammar models and advanced spell correction will allow chatbots become more adept at responding to conversation than predetermining it.
Some enterprises will resist the transition from hybrid work. This is largely because they fear that employees who aren’t being monitored will lose the motivation to do their best. Although employees may not be able to monitor their time at home, it is possible to monitor their productivity. With AI available to analyze performance across the enterprise at a granular degree, most organizations will find that work flexibility is a boon and not a problem for their business model.
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