The situation in which we all find ourselves this month is something none of us could have imagined. Due to coronavirus, we are all confined to the walls of our homes, which presents many challenges, both on a personal and professional level. However, it has also allowed a time of true reflection about what is important and how we will proceed once this is all over.
We have all seen the importance of healthcare and technology to save lives and keep businesses going. Environmental experts have remarked how quickly climate change can be stopped when WE all stop and we continue to demonstrate our ability to stay connected when we are all far apart. So, what does this mean for the future of work and how will Artificial Intelligence play a vital role?
The power of technology to connect all of us in the lack of face to face contact has been truly extraordinary. Whether it has allowed you to host large conference calls, have a drink with friends or tune in to workouts by Instagram influencers, we have depended on technology in one way or another. Of course, many of these capabilities have existed for some time but never have they been quite so necessary.
Remote working becomes a necessity
This time has certainly showed companies the ability to work remotely and for many the need to innovate processes in order to achieve what other companies are doing so effortlessly. Whilst many of us do miss the coffee breaks and office banter, home working also comes with many benefits which only some of us were accustomed to before. The typical 9 to 5 routine can be thrown out the window; enjoy flexible working hours, design your working day around you, avoid the long commute, exercise when you want, cook what you want, wake up later, take calls in the garden, spend time with your children, the possibilities go on.
As more companies are forced into this newbie way of work, the demand for dynamic platforms to facilitate Telework have also increased. The logistics, cost and environmental impact of bringing together hundreds of people from multiple countries to meet in a single location has always been a big challenge for companies but this period has kick started new processes which might have taken takes months or even years for large corporations to design. New ways of working have had to be introduced in a matter of days.
This is not to say we should replace traditional working for teleworking all together. Both have desirable elements that should be combined to get the most out of our professional and personal lives.
Teams, google hangout, skype, zoom, cloud sharing, and other platforms have now become second nature, hosting virtual meetings, allowing groups to collaborate on shared documents and brainstorm together. But new technologies can innovate this space further and Artificial Intelligence is the key.
AI applications which could innovate virtual working
Using natural language processing, virtual meetings can be recorded and transcribed from voice-to-text, so you don’t have to worry about taking detailed notes. Also, natural language processing can be used to analyse what is said to search for keywords. This will pull up any blogs, online discussions or social network feeds on the topic so attendees can view their discussion in a larger context.
Whilst applications like these are already accessible, they are not widespread and have little recognition outside the tech industry. The increasing demand for innovative ways of working will shine a spotlight on these types of application to make virtual working more efficient.
Telepresence and augmented reality can innovate how we see others in virtual meetings and bring the functionality of in-person meetings to the digital world. Telepresence creates the illusion of a group of people standing or sitting in the same room which can allow people to collaborate more effectively.
Avatars are digital copies of yourself and might be smart enough one day to attend a meeting for you and report back when it’s over. The possibilities of augmented reality create interesting opportunities for the future of Teleworking.
We often talk about the power of connectivity and technology in relation to digital transformation and economic growth but now we can see just how necessary technology really is on a social level to keep us all together even when we are apart.