How the 4Fs Can Scale AI in the Workplace
No doubt that there is a digital workforce transformation taking place within the workplace.
Companies looking to grow and thrive must take an introspective approach to address how to meet the demands of the current and future workforce. Incoming generations of employees want flexibility and no longer see themselves as tethered to the office to do their jobs. Instead, today’s workforce wants the ease of their everyday devices and applications to match a consumer-inspired experience at work.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual assistants are an example of what will become commonplace within the office. For some, the term prompts unsettling images of robots taking over the world, but the truth is most people already live with and have widely accepted this technology. For example, at home do you say, “Alexa, what’s…” at least once a day? AI and virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home give users the freedom to not worry about menial tasks such as knowing the weather, the day’s schedule, or even to set the home security system. It’s therefore not hard to imagine the utility this technology will have in the workplace. Industries are thinking about ways to apply this technology to increase productivity among employees. Imagine, for example, Alexa finding and booking conference rooms for meetings, sifting through unnecessary emails, and handling other nonessential tasks to allow workers the flexibility and time to tackle actual meaningful work.
While the future of workforce transformation is AI and virtual assistants, the reality is few feel comfortable enough with the technology to adopt it into their everyday work life. For example, 32% of B2B marketers aren’t confident in their knowledge of AI and only 54% are somewhat confident. Not only is there ambiguity around what defines AI, but also physical, organizational and logistical barriers to successfully integrating it within a work environment. While challenging, scaling AI in the workplace is not impossible.
However, the first step to digitally transform the workforce and implement a successful adoption of AI and virtual assistants is to create synergy between the 4Fs:
Function: Decide if AI is even necessary and a good fit for your organization by asking if it’s solving larger business problems. Adopting AI for the sake of being part of the latest tech trends could lead to unnecessary frustration and costly repercussions.
Forum: AI relies on data so determine if your company has enough of it to be truly effective. Also, do the research and find the right platform and systems for easy integration and usage among employees.
SaFeguards: Think through security and privacy measures to ensure you’re solving for any vulnerabilities and breaches.
Folks: Even though it’s artificial intelligence, it still needs a real human being to help operate the system. At the same time, keep in mind that any new working models or technology require buy-in, so encourage employees to be life-long learners and embrace AI as another opportunity to grow professionally.
The future of workplace productivity includes the adoption of AI and virtual assistants, but only if enterprises take the time and make the necessary investments to ensure that their 4Fs are working in tandem and synergistically.