Future of work relies on people, not technology

‘Technology is emerging and developing to bring the best out of people’

Future of work relies on people, not technology

Rather than replace workers, the true role of technology in the workplace will be to enhance human experience and help us realise our fullest potential.

That’s according to a prediction based on a new study by JLL NZ who has launched its Future of Work research in New Zealand.

It’s also the product of a year-long global co-creation effort with other progressive leaders across a broad range of industries.

While digitisation is of course a significant driver of the future of the work, the study asserts that it’s not the most important piece – that belongs to human experience.

JLL Australasia Director of Workplace Strategy, Dinesh Acharya said rather than replace us, technology is emerging and developing to bring the best out of people.

“People are at the heart of every enterprise—from the visionaries who bring their ideas to life, to the countless employees who every day keep the vision alive and growing,” said Acharya.

“The tremendous value organisations place on their people is stretching into real estate, as executives realise it is not enough to give people a job and a place to work—you need to create a space where they want to be.

“Human experience is a key differentiator for how people engage with an organisation—both strategically and operationally.”

This view is endorsed by a study from The Economist Intelligence Unit and the Harvard Business Review, which surveyed 197 companies worldwide with sales exceeding $500 million.

Most of these companies’ recent strategies delivered only 63% of their promised financial value, with the reasons for falling short all pointing to human experience.

These included unclear execution actions, organisational silos and culture blockers, inadequate performance monitoring and inadequate consequences or rewards.

READ MORE: Future of work: What skills will remain crucial?

Acharya said creating memorable experiences within real estate is a key differentiator for how people engage with an organisation, and is crucial for organisations to harness in order to remain competitive – and even existent – in the near future.

“Determining how and where people will work has massive impacts on productivity, employee engagement, competitiveness and an organisation’s brand and reputation,” he said.

“To achieve a compelling human experience, the imperative is to prioritise people first through engagement, empowerment and fulfilment at work. Technology can be a key enabler of all three factors.”

Additionally, the research shows the standard office is competing more and more with off-site workplaces when it comes to where people want to be.

Indeed, 54% of people work at home more than five days a month, while just over 33% work regularly from other places like cafes, public libraries, or co-working spaces. Only 52% feel completely effective at work.

According to Acharya, acknowledging these changing attitudes and sentiments is driving a significant change in traditional workspaces as we know them.

By 2030, he expects that 30% of corporate portfolios will comprise flexible space including coworking, incubator and accelerator space.

READ MORE: HR professionals unprepared for the future

Acharya added that it’s insights like these that can be instrumental in helping organisations to tailor their spaces for the future of work.

“Success in the new working era will be defined by those who can embrace uncertainty, turn disruption into opportunity and engage and empower its workers to see technology as an ally, not a threat.”

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