Infrastructure and Technology for Flexible Work: A Look Back at Flex Summit
After discovering the global impact of the future of work during Flex Summit, we transitioned to addressing infrastructure by learning about the technology and policies needed to embrace flexible work.
Taher Behbani, senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile B2B Division of Samsung discussed the many possibilities of 5G technology. After providing a visual representation of the evolution of generational cellular network technology, Taher taught us that new technological designs for the future must address the needs for the incoming workforce generation, Generation Z. This incoming generation of workers not only value mobility, but also expect access to their personal and professional life in one device. Blurring the traditional lines of work-life balance, 5G technology provides the service and software applications available to create digital living spaces for work, collaboration, and communication.
Applied futurist Tom Cheesewright moderated our first panel to discuss the ways in which AI is forever changing the workforce landscape. Drift Founder Elias Torres thinks AI technology will be adaptable to fit the needs of workers by replacing inefficient simple tasks to make way for more creative thinking. Charu Sharma, CEO of NextPlay.ai sees machine learning as the tool in which, “The stupid work will be done by AI and the smart work will be done by humans.” Dr. Skylar Place, chief behavioral officer at Cogito, uses AI technology to augment human interaction in real time by delivering high quality emotionally aware customer service. Overall the panel answered the biggest question in everyone’s mind: will AI take over our jobs? Ultimately our panelists explained that no, machines lack the soft skills, nuance, creativity and the human attributes needed to do our jobs well.
Our second panel discussion led by Experience Enterprises CEO Megan Burns, addressed the policy changes and business models necessary to remove the barriers to flexible work. This panel of all-female thought leaders define flexibility as a workplace that empowers their employees to find a balance between work and home and the mobility to allow them to get their work done wherever they are. Jenny Ahn of Deloitte Consulting encouraged employees to change the mindset of leaders within their organizations to prove that flexible working environments are possible. Meghan Williams of HubSpot has seen that worker autonomy leads to increased engagement and productivity among their employees. Finally, Gaylan Sankey of ServiceNow, who works remotely herself, believes the biggest barrier to adopting a flexible workplace is taking the first step, so just give it a try!
Our final speaker, Rossitza Kotelova, introduced us to Gita, Piaggio Fast Forward’s latest robotic design with a mission to build a new mobile economy. Gita, which in Italian means an excursion, allows humans the freedom to travel and connect with their environments without burdens. Coming to market this fall, see all that Gita will allow us to do to be better engaged in our communities.
Click here for a full recap of #Flex19 and stay tuned for our next post about the third session, Culture and Collaboration.