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What does the future work life look like?

October 17, 2019

Ricoh Europe’s report into the Future of Work explores how collaboration, purpose, sustainability and technology will shape employment in the next ten years, two thirds of European workers expect employers to help solve societal issues.

Workers are increasingly expecting their employers to contribute positively to societal issues, according to a new report released today by Ricoh Europe. The Future of Work report, researched and produced by Arup, explores how technology will shape our jobs, with collaboration and sustainability at the core.

The report shows that to employees, the onus is on employers to use the power of technology as a force for positive change at work and beyond. A supporting study of 3,000 European workers found that three quarters (74 percent) believe that as technology improves and automates tasks, employers must empower their staff to achieve better work-life balance. Additionally, close to two-thirds (63 percent) expect employers to harness profitability gains from automation technology to re-invest in its people and community.

Two thirds (65 percent) of European workers expect their employers to be part of the solution for societal issues such as climate change and inequality. Additionally, 28 percent would be willing to take a ten percent pay cut to work for an employer that was committed to helping solve societal issues.

However, the majority of workers are sceptical of their employer’s intentions. Two thirds (65 percent) believe their employers will use automated technology to increase profits and cut jobs, the report said.

David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe comments: “Through cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mixed reality and robotics, there is a vast array of technology that will change the way we work over the next ten years. Organisations must make smart decisions and adopt the right technology for their needs, but technology is not a magic bullet or replacement for your human workers – they remain vital to the workforce of the future.

“Collaboration and sustainability must be at the centre of a modern business. People are looking to employers to set an example and make more positive contributions to the communities in which they operate. Collaboration is key to tackling the big issues that we are grappling with in modern society – it cannot be left to not-for-profits or governments. Those businesses that plug technology benefits into the community will thrive and attract the best talent. At Ricoh, we believe the best route to achieving this is through aligning our work with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Future of Work report analyses more than 100 sources, to bring together the best-in-class thinking and use cases on how work will shape employment. It finds that technology will fuel new modes of collaboration between humans, human and machines and machines with other machines (automation).

It concludes that automation and technology is driving the business agenda, but it finds that the role of humans in work will remain vital for businesses to operate sustainably. Technology will ultimately free workers from laborious tasks to focus on more valuable and fulfilling work and enable businesses to reinvest into making more positive contributions to society.

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