Adobe recently released the findings of its Digital Insights report into the Future of Work (FOW), revealing that people are open to man and machine collaboration for work benefits. Based on over 3 million FOW related social mentions across several digital platforms including Twitter, News, Blogs and Forums from 2016 to 2017, the “Future of Work” report concludes that contrary to popular belief, 89% of people are positive about the role robots can play in helping them in the workplace, rather than taking away jobs. The study’s social analysis features regions including the USA, UK, India and Australia.
The “Future of Work” report highlights that automation mentions have doubled year-on-year (YoY), with a 70% YoY increase in the average daily mentions of robots and jobs. Despite some concern around the impact of automation in the workplace, the report notes that there is a great amount of positive sentiment towards it, with people demonstrating positive commentary around how automation can undertake mundane tasks, and allow them to focus on creative and strategic responsibilities that matter most to them and their careers. Topics such as machine learning and artificial intelligence were most popular on social conversations related to automation.
“The power of technology has had a positive impact on all aspects of our lives, and the tremendous value it delivers in the workplace has been no different. The Future of Work looks promising, as robotics and automation gear up to enable employees to be more productive and creative in their roles. The Adobe Digital Insights report reiterates the importance of workplaces embracing the benefits of digital transformation as the technology revolution advances,” said Abdul Jaleel, Vice President, People Resources India, Adobe.
Apart from the technology aspect, where conversations around automated processes are gaining traction, the FOW study also revealed other related topics such as People Analytics, Work Environment and Transportation that are trending and form common conversations around the future of work.
People Analytics: The report highlights that conversations about people analytics within the Future of Work context have increased 20% YoY as more and more companies are focusing efforts on their people, leading to workplaces that continue to improve. Analytics is helping HR heads across organizations to relook at their strategies for recruitment, employee management and performance reviews.
Work environment: With flexibility and impact being the key employee motivations, the report highlights the emergence of the gig economy or contractual workforce. Mentions about the gig economy have seen a threefold YoY rise, as more people urge companies to incorporate mandatory office shutdowns and flexibility in work schedules. The investment of people analytics in combination with demands from the gig economy are key determinants to improve work environments.
Transportation: “Future of Work” states that faster and more self-propelled transportation has the potential to change how people travel to work. With Hyperloop and self-driving cars receiving more than 1 million mentions, the future is bright for transportation. The Hyperloop and its space-age look and speed had 50% more positive sentiment than buses and 2x more positive sentiment than taxis. Tesla, BMW, Ford, Volvo, and GM are the top five brands mentioned for self-driving cars.
Overall, the study emphasizes on the fact that the Future of Work is promising, particularly when it comes to the automation of traditionally mundane tasks. “Automating document and signature processes, for example, could open up new possibilities for people as the tech revolution advances. In other categories, faster transportation and self-driving cars could revolutionize local travel. Moreover, the virtual office has big potential in the Future of Work. Work environments should continue to improve as employees demand more from their space, especially with automation ruling the minds of people,” added Jaleel .