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Is AI coming to your workplace?

February 17, 2020

Employees say AI will improve work culture but see no strategy for implementation according to latest research commissioned by Ricoh Europe.

Next-generation machines are revolutionising the workplace, and recent research shows 54% of employees believing employers will use AI and other technology to improve the working experience. Furthermore, 72% are not worried about technology such as AI and robotics replacing their job, dispelling myths around the doom filled march of the robots.

This optimism for technology enhancements in the workplace is echoed in Ricoh Europe’s Future of Work report which explores how technology, collaboration and sustainability should be front of mind for those businesses looking to future proof success. The report is supported by research of 3,000 European workers.

In positive news for employers, almost three quarters (72%) of European workers claim they want to contribute more to their organisation’s performance. Technology will enable this contribution as more time-intensive administrative functions are performed by machines, enabling employees to place a greater focus on strategy and more meaningful, revenue-generating tasks.

David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe commented: “Collaboration with machines doesn’t just improve worker’s ability to focus on more rewarding tasks, it changes how we work with each other. Armed with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the future of work, employees will not only be more productive, but more creative too. This will largely come through greater opportunities for collaboration driven by the integration of technology.”

In fact, 78% of office workers expect their employer to provide tools to work more collaboratively with colleagues regardless of location, enabling greater flexibility and the transferring of skills.

“The need for human-based work won’t disappear. Employers must understand that technology is not a silver bullet to profitability. A fruitful relationship between humans and machines can only be truly successful if workers are part of the journey and involved in new ways of working from the off,” adds Mills.

According to Ricoh Europe’s report, 69% of European workers believe the best workplaces invest in digital technologies for upskilling staff. Meanwhile, 60% of employees trust their employer to invest in technology to meet the workforce requirements of the future, emphasising how much attitudes towards technology at work have shifted in recent years.

However, only 38% said their employer has a strategy in place to integrate technology such as AI and robots in the workplace and has communicated this with employees. This reinforces the importance of communication and training in improving employee engagement and fostering company loyalty.

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