People and processesDigital SkillsDemand from digital natives to shape the future of the workplace

Demand from digital natives to shape the future of the workplace

New data reveals that most employees struggle when searching for information

UK workers are embracing tech in the workplace to maximise their productivity in the wake of developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology, according to a new report from employee benefits specialist Unum and independent researcher The Future Laboratory.

The reportThe Future Workforce – predicts a new breed of worker more open to using technology to enhance their minds and bodies, allowing them to excel in an increasingly AI-driven landscape.

This Tech-Enhanced Worker would be interested in seeing tech in the workplace that optimises brain chemistry, such as meditation apps, or headsets that monitor or alter brain activity – a view held by 43% of workers. Crucially, almost half (49%) would be interested in using tech, such as activity-tracking wearables and time management apps, to improve their performance.

Many believe that AI would benefit their jobs (43%) – yet a greater proportion (55%) expressed concerns AI may render their jobs redundant in years to come.

36% of workers stated they would like to see more technology that monitors their daily routines to help optimise their work, and they’re also willing to surrender personal data to enable them to be more efficient. Over half (55%) stated they would be happy to accept the associated benefit rewards for participating in their employer’s data-optimised workplace.

Digital natives

According to intelligent information management experts M-Files, digital natives are shaping the modern workplace, placing huge demands on organisations’ technology portfolio. Firms which don’t invest in solutions to boost employee efficiency and possess the infrastructure to support their ambitions will see them turn to those competitors who can.

Discussing this, Tim Waterton, Director of UK Business at M-Files says: “By 2020, millennials will make up 35 per cent of the global workforce meaning their arrival can’t be ignored. This generation of digital natives – as they are becoming increasingly known – have grown up with technology at their fingertips and expect to be able to access information instantly from anywhere, in their personal and professional lives. Organisations which cannot meet these demands or accommodate this cultural shift will struggle to attract and retain future talent.

Digital natives – by their nature – are incredibly ambitious, wanting to move into managerial positions much faster, and aren’t afraid to change jobs to achieve this. Technology is something they readily leverage to realise these aspirations, which can serve as a big reality check for many firms, as many are still reliant on cumbersome, inflexible technologies which hold back productivity. Take how a company shares information as a case in point.

“We’re soon to be releasing research which examines the challenges employees face in the workplace. Some of the key findings reveal that over 85 per cent of employees indicate that they regularly experience challenges when searching for the documents and information required to do their jobs. Furthermore, over two-thirds of employees find it challenging when searching for and accessing documents on their mobile device. When you consider how reliant we are as a society on our mobile devices, generations born into this technology are likely to dismiss employers that don’t have the infrastructure to deliver the same working experience, whether they are in the office or out in the field using any device.

“For organisations who want to keep the digital natives happy, and therefore gain a competitive advantage by being able to attract and retain top talent, having the right technology in place to support their desires for greater productivity and workplace efficiency is key, and information management practices will be critical to this.

“Leveraging intelligent information management solutions will help create efficiency by allowing organisations to simplify how staff access, secure, process and collaborate on documents and information. In doing so, employees can manage business information anywhere using any device, regardless of where that information is stored, in an easier and faster manner.This will instantly help organisations make strides towards meeting the expectations of digital natives while boosting business productivity and efficiency,” concluded Waterton.

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