You are likely finding that you and your business have become more reliant on technology. You may also find, like the tech industry did, that remote work is less expensive and more efficient with average savings of $11,000 on a part-time basis alone.

It makes economic sense to outfit workplaces so that employees can work remotely. Many companies are already using IT services to ensure that their employees are able to work from home. I recently spoke to my cell provider, FIDO and learned that most of the company’s customer service representatives in Montreal are now working from home rather than from the company’s offices. These employees are using new digital platforms, systems, services and processes. Employees need to learn new skills to work with the new technology. The changes in how services are being offered to their clients are creating new employment and contract opportunities for existing workers and new hires.

Flexibility, resourcefulness and creativity are what workplaces need. Look at how companies have gone beyond their own identities to make critical items during the pandemic. Distilleries churning out hand sanitizer and clothing companies making reusable cloth masks are just a couple of examples how companies were flexible in proactively responding to COVID-19. Technology helps to make the changes possible, but it is the people who see the needs and power the workplaces.

An April 27, 2020 article focuses on how Microsoft and its partners are “helping to transform the manufacturing industry by putting people firmly at the centre.” The article shows how artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are bringing in a new era of collaboration between people and technology.

According to Microsoft’s Future Computed study, much of the AI technology created is not intended to replace humans, but to help them to increase productivity, collaboration and to enable better and faster decision-making. We can say the same about collaborative and cloud technology like Zoom, Teams, Office 365, Remote Assist, Skype, Skype Translator and HoloLens.

But what about the prediction that machines and workplace algorithms will gut 75 million jobs by 2022? The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs report suggests technology can also create 133 million new roles. AI helps open up employment opportunities and leading global companies know it will help them attract top talent as well as boost existing worker output.

It is difficult not to see that digital technology is changing business in so many ways as well as being the catalyst for new business models, products, services and experiences, says Colin Masson global industry director, manufacturing solutions at Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise. “But people are at the heart of successful digital transformation, and the most successful manufacturers will be those that transform and empower a changing workforce with the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy.”

This is exciting and encouraging for all of us. There’s more to come on the subjects of working remotely, AI and human technology.

Contact me to learn more.