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How advanced technologies can boost worker productivity and creativity

While much is written on the constant advances in technologies, it can be easy to overlook the impact that these changes have on the way that IT and data professionals work, not to mention the broader workforce.

With that in mind, here are several trends this year that are impacting productivity and activity.

The End of Email

According to the Workfront State of Work Report, email and wasteful meetings cripple productivity. U.S. workers say they spend only 40% of their workday on primary tasks.

All of that will change in the next five years as organizations implement digital tools to manage modern work. A few of the key ways that will shift:

● Better alignment of work to strategy, ensuring that people are working on the right things that have been prioritized by the business.

● More visibility into how various contributors’ work comes together to understand how deadlines and output work together.

● More focus on results--how the time spent working actually impacts the business.

● Better work planning and requirements gathering--if focus is put into gathering what people need to accomplish when they are planning / requesting work, there will be less need for meetings/ emails / ad hoc work.

The Rise of Innovation

Forty-four percent of U.S. workers say that some parts of their job have been taken over by automation, freeing them up for more strategic work, according to the Workfront State of Work Report. Automation will make it easier to build solutions that do the busy work so that workers can focus on business issues and set aside time to innovate.

We use data to actually make decisions

According to the Workfront State of Work Report, in today’s workplace, 40% of U.S. workers say they have good data, but they’re struggling to make the right decisions with it. That will change as . . .

● 34% say “companies will adopt virtual reality tech for long distance meetings so workers feel like they’re present in those meetings.”

● 34% say that “my company will be able to track almost all work that is being done in the company.”

● 26% say “every employee will be able to see how their work tasks directly align to the company’s strategic initiatives.“

● 24% say “thanks to tech, every worker will be able to see how their work directly affects the bottom line.”

Data-driven decision making

According to the Workfront State of Work Report, 40% of U.S. workers say they have good data, but they’re struggling to make the right decisions with it — only 4% say they want more data.

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Companies will increasingly focus less on getting data for the sake of getting data and more on training humans on how to make decisions with data. This means that data analysts and strategists will become sought after even more — and products that can give instant insights into the data will be worth a premium.

Your Own Personal Chatbot

The problem with instant messaging is that it takes time and is distracting. In the future, each new employee will be issued a personal chatbot assistant during onboarding.

Among other things, this chatbot will do most of the instant messaging, conversing with other employees, with company leadership, and with other personal chatbots.

All Human Roles Are Creative Roles

With most activities automated, humans in the future enterprise will perform mission critical, creative functions that require the uniquely human traits of innovation.

For example, the human functions will be focused on finding new ways to serve customers, exploring new market opportunities, and sparking growth, instead of maintaining current corporate operations.

The System Is the Manager

Businesses will implement intelligent platforms that actively manage projects and processes. Humans will focus on doing their best work, while the system manages the logistical workflow, tracking, alerts, and reporting. This will be the ideal division of labor in the future enterprise.

Voluntary Job Board

In addition to making sure strategic initiatives have business owners, the future enterprise will create internal job boards of important work that needs to be done, and ask interested individuals and self-organizing teams to volunteer to work on the jobs that are most exciting to them. Like a corporate backlog that is up for grabs. This will allow more team members to do work that matters to them personally.

BYODx = Bring Your Own Digital Experience

The digitization of organizations will become a commonplace occurrence (happening over and over in iterations), and we will move into the Digital Transformation of the individual. Each of us will become radically digitized (at home, at work, everywhere) via hyper-personalized digital environments that are built to serve us and follow us everywhere we go.

These personal digital environments will be built to plug into other digital environments seamlessly, such as in a work environment, creating workflows, collaboration paths, and amplifying individual effort.

Back to Basics

Massive automation will finally set free the most important asset we have: the human heart. This will allow society to engage in critical thinking at scale, to solve our biggest problems, and unleash the compassion of our collective humanity.

Because automation has shouldered formerly burdensome and distracting tasks, humans will be set free to reach out in uniquely human ways. Automation will free us, finally making it possible to give us back to ourselves, and to each other.

Trust will Increase

According to the Workfront State of Work Report, today’s workers would give their coworkers 3.7 stars if they were Uber drivers. With more visibility into work in the future, that number will go up, as there is more understanding of what people are doing and why they are doing it.

There will also be better understanding of productivity levels in the workplace as teams can see how their work ties into the bigger company/department/team strategy.

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