Around the world, corporate offices sit empty. In 2019, Gartner predicted that by 2023, fewer than one-third of digital workers would select the corporate office as their preferred place to work. Now, surveys show that 48% of employees will work remotely some or all the time post-COVID-19.
We will not return to pre-COVID ways of working
Empty office space is a stark example of the long-term impact that COVID-19 will have on workplaces globally, said Gavin Tay, Gartner VP, Analyst during his presentation at virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo® 2020.
“We will not return to pre-COVID ways of working,” said Tay. “CIOs need to decide what the future digital workplace will look like and ensure that their organization has the technology foundation to support it.”
The future of work demands our attention in three interconnected areas.
Read more: 6 Trends on the Gartner Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace, 2020
The hyperautomation of routine work
Hyperautomation is the idea that any processes that can be automated should be automated.
COVID-19 has accelerated the notion of using algorithms or "robobosses" to automate management activities including task assignment, collecting feedback determining performance ratings. Gartner predicts that 69% of what a manager currently does will be fully automated by 2024.
Ride-sharing platforms like Uber, Grab and DiDi already allocate tasks to drivers and collect customer ratings to measure performance, automatically determining rewards or sanctions if required.
“In the future only two sets of tasks will remain for managers: Strategy setting, which requires creativity; and advanced team management, which requires social skills,” said Tay.
Unilever has been hiring entry-level employees using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze responses to preset interview questions using keywords and body language, saving more than 100,000 hours of interviewing time and roughly $1 million in recruitment costs.