3 Tech Trends That Are Transforming Today’s Workplace

Posted 01-08-2018     Today’s workplace is changing rapidly, with recent Gallup research identifying three key trends that are disrupting the way we work.

Millennials have overtaken Generation X and Baby Boomers as the largest demographic in today’s workforce, and unlike their predecessors, they’re not staying with their employers, creating a skills gap challenge.

Meanwhile, Millennials face the highest risk of having their jobs replaced by artificial intelligence, which has arrived as a new force in today’s workplace. These dramatic demographic changes are driving employers to turn to workforce analytics to forecast their future staffing needs and plan their hiring strategies.

Let’s take a closer look at how these dynamic changes are transforming the way we work.

Using Technology to Meet the Challenge of Millennial Employee Engagement

Twenty-one percent of Millennials switched jobs in 2015, triple the number of non-Millennials who changed employers, Gallup’s research says. For employers, this is making it hard to find and retain qualified workers. At the end of 2017, there were 6 million job openings in the United States, a record high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Eighty-seven percent of small business owners have a hard time finding qualified workers, according to a National Federation of Independent Business report, and six out of 10 employers have positions that go unfilled for three months or longer, says a CareerBuilder survey.

In response to these trends, employers are taking steps to retain skilled workers, including using technology to boost worker retention. One strategy many employers are adopting is retraining workers with new tech skills that help keep their skill set current in today’s workplace. For example, AT&T has invested $1 billion in its Workplace 2020 Initiative, an effort to adapt to the changing workplace which includes training the company’s current workforce with new skill sets. Starbucks has partnered with Arizona State University to offer a College Achievement Plan that pays for employees to take classes over the Internet. The growing availability of online distance learning programs is making it easier for companies to retrain workers through certification programs that can be completed faster than traditional degree programs. Many employers are also working with colleges to provide students with on-the-job training opportunities, blending online learning with hands-on training.

The Takeover of Technology

The Millennial workforce revolution coincides with the mobile revolution, which has accelerated technology’s takeover of the workplace. The number of American employees who work at least part of the time from home over the Internet increased from 39 percent of the workforce in 2012 to 43 percent in 2016, Gallup data shows. 36 percent of companies now allow employees to bring their own devices to work, a number expected to increase to 50 percent by 2018, Markets and Markets projects.

The rise of mobile technology, along with the coming of the cloud, has created an infrastructure for bringing artificial intelligence into the workplace. Eighty percent of executives at large enterprises say their companies are investing in AI, and one-third expect they’ll need to invest more over the next three years to stay competitive, a Vanson Bourne survey reports. Nearly four in 10 Millennial jobs are at risk of being replaced by AI solutions, Gallup estimates.

Many companies are also investing in software technology designed for a mobile, AI-equipped work environment. For instance, today’s leading cloud contact center solutions provide a virtual interface that makes it easy for companies to deploy remote call center representatives while using analytics to optimize customer service. The global contact center market is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 9 percent and will be worth $9.7 billion by 2019, Technavio projects.

The Dominance of Big Data

Companies are also harnessing AI in order to predict shifting workplace trends and respond to them proactively, adopting workforce analytics solutions that enable human resources departments to make smarter, data-based decisions. Workplace analytics can help employers predict demographic trends in the labor force, adjust benefit plans to cater to worker needs and preferences, predict the performance of prospective hires, analyze factors that impact employee engagement and analyze other valuable, actionable information. The workforce analytics market is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent and will be worth $1.87 billion by 2025, Grand View Research estimates.

The adoption of workforce analytics is part of a broader trend towards greater use of business intelligence and big data. Big data analytics enables companies to make accurate predictions and informed decisions about marketing, sales, customer service and operational management, to just a few areas being impacted by this revolutionary technology. Business spending on big data analytics is expanding a CAGR of 11.7 percent and will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to $203 billion by 2020, according to International Data Corporation.

The use of technology is changing the way we work. As this trend continues to advance, we will increasingly see a workplace where workers are more tech-savvy, operations are more automated and decisions are more data-driven.

Some articles are written and contributed to The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc., for publication on this website.  They may contain links to products or services mentioned and are furnished for the ease and convenience of our readers.  The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc. does not financially benefit from these postings, or for clickthroughs.

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