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Hybrid work is a rather contentious topic. Organisations aren’t sure if remote (or hybrid) work is better than coming into the office. Many studies have found support for the idea that hybrid work increases productivity, while other research supports the idea that in-office arrangements are more beneficial for business performance.
In our opinion, organisations that have adopted, or are looking to adopt, outcome-based KPIs are ideally poised to take advantage of an AI-enabled workforce – not to mention the emerging four-day work week.
What’s the connection between AI, hybrid work, and a focus on outcomes?
At Experteq, we are outcome-focused – this allows our employees to look differently at their day-to-day lives. When this is paired with flexible work arrangements and technological tools that enable us to do our work more effectively and well, no matter where we are, we believe the benefits to the business can be immense.
Some of the key behavioural aspects of an effective AI-enabled, outcome-focused workforce include:
- Flexibility: The hybrid workplace offers employees more flexibility in their work, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and work-life balance. Employees can work from home or anywhere with an internet connection, which allows them to schedule work around their personal lives.
- Collaboration: The use of AI technology in the hybrid workplace allows for greater collaboration between employees, regardless of their location. With tools like video conferencing, chat, and project management software, employees can work together seamlessly from anywhere in the world. Language is no longer a barrier; digesting and minuting a four-hour meeting – a thing of the past. AI empowers employees to spend more time doing their jobs instead of being bogged down by administrative work.
- Outcome-focused: The hybrid workplace is outcome-driven, which means that employees are measured by the results they produce rather than the amount of time they spend working. This can lead to a more productive work environment, as employees are motivated to produce high-quality work quickly and efficiently. This also has a psychological impact on people. As humans, we are designed to be goal-orientated. Sitting in one place, doing the same monotonous task over and over, day in and day out, is not good for mental health.
- Adaptability: The hybrid workplace requires employees to be adaptable to change and to be comfortable with new technologies. As companies continue to innovate and introduce new tools and processes, employees need to be able to adapt quickly and efficiently. This can be intimidating for some people; not everyone is equally comfortable with technology. Although we can sympathise with the struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing speed of technological change, the reality is this becomes a core skill in the workplace. Adapting to change is deeply ingrained in us as a species; it’s scary, but if we don’t, we get left behind. A school of thought is that “computers” or “AI” will replace people – well, the harsh truth is, it will if you don’t find a way to use it to be a more productive version of the employee you are today.
- Increased autonomy: With the hybrid workplace, employees are given more autonomy over their work. This means that they have more control over their schedule and the way they approach their work. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and a sense of ownership. We have always favoured “getting work done” over “doing work” – and new technologies are just digital tools that can help us do it better and faster. AI and no-code cloud platforms like Microsoft Power Automate have been enabling people to be more productive for more than a decade.
AI and digital tools are enabling a more productive hybrid modern workplace
Overall, the modern hybrid workplace is changing the way employees work and behave. With the use of AI and other new technologies, employees are now able to achieve more with less of their most precious resource: their time.
AI, specifically the latest wave of technologies powered by GPT-4, fundamentally changes what an employee can do and how fast they can do it. But take note: this doesn’t mean you go hands-off and let AI do everything for you. Microsoft hit the nail on the head by naming its AI “Copilot”. You still need to be in control and set direction, you just don’t have to do all the work.