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Remote, hybrid or office-based? Employers are making big decisions about the future of work. This is what it might look like

ZDNet

For many business leaders, the sudden transition to remote working that was forced upon companies last year as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down office spaces still brings back memories of long hours of work and a few logistical ordeals โ€“ but according to some experts from analyst Gartner, the real challenge is yet to come. As restrictions slowly lift and employers start thinking of bringing their staff back into the workplace, some forward-thinking planning will be required to ensure a smooth transition from working fully remotely in the context of a global health crisis, to a hybrid mode of work of which the details are yet to be defined. Which video conferencing platform is right for your business? We've gathered details about 10 leading services. This is because, for a significant proportion of employees, a return to the office for five days a week is unlikely to be an appealing option.


Free PDF: The future of work: Tools and strategies for the digital workplace

ZDNet

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are mandating remote work or encouraging their employees to work from home. Thankfully, the abundance of digital tools available has provided teams with a seamless transition to remote work. This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet / TechRepublic special feature, helps business leaders understand the trends and technologies that will define the workplace over the next five years. What are the essential tools remote workers need to connect and collaborate? What factors will determine failure or success in this new world of work?


Personal Productivity and Well-being -- Chapter 2 of the 2021 New Future of Work Report

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We now turn to understanding the impact that COVID-19 had on the personal productivity and well-being of information workers as their work practices were impacted by remote work. This chapter overviews people's productivity, satisfaction, and work patterns, and shows that the challenges and benefits of remote work are closely linked. Looking forward, the infrastructure surrounding work will need to evolve to help people adapt to the challenges of remote and hybrid work.


Future of work: Five new features of your remote workplace in 2021

ZDNet

COVID-19 has turned the world of work on its head, with many of us having spent most of 2020 separated from our colleagues and logging-in to greet each other every day from our bedrooms, living spaces, and other cobbled-together places of work. It's a year that has asked a lot of us all, and with 2021 now โ€“ somehow โ€“ on the horizon, many will be wondering what the next 12 months has in store. One thing seems certain: the new remote-working landscape hastily hammered out by 2020 won't be disappearing any time soon. In fact, working from home at least part of the time looks set to be the new way of doing things for the foreseeable future. And while organizations might have a better grasp on the technical challenges than they did at the start of the year, there is still a litany of issues to overcome if we want to make this "new normal" truly work.


Human Skills Will Be Most Important In The Digital Future Of Work

#artificialintelligence

As many of us have moved to working from home and many companies have decided to keep remote working ... [ ] as a permanent option, the future of jobs looks like it will be increasingly digital but also increasingly focused on wellbeing and self-management. Human skills, not technology alone, will help us through the'double-disruption' of Covid and automation. A new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Future of Jobs has highlighted the need to build on self-management and critical thinking skills, so that we can harness an increase in automation and an impending Covid-triggered recession to usher in a new wave of jobs that take advantage of both automation and human creativity and adaptability. As the pandemic has pushed many people into working remotely and using many different technologies to work and relax, the importance of wellbeing as well as the utility of technology have come into stark focus, and created a unique foundation on which to build new jobs and a new way of working. For many years, automation technologies have been changing how we work, by taking on more of the mundane, repetitive tasks that they are designed for.


Why aren't people smarter? The dubious benefits of intelligence, real or artificial

#artificialintelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to make the human race smarter. Raymond Kurzweil has made predicting the Singularity -- when artificial intelligence exceeds human intelligence -- a cottage industry. Is AI going to make us all smarter, or are we already as smart as we can handle? This TechRepublic Premium ebook compiles the latest on cancelled conferences, cybersecurity attacks, remote work tips, and the impact this pandemic is having on the tech industry. Some of our issues are cognitive, such as our inherent inability to estimate exponential functions.


Council Post: How IT Help Desks Can Accelerate Service Delivery For Remote Employees

#artificialintelligence

We're already aware that AI is transforming the IT help desk. The recent global pandemic, however, calls new attention to AI's capabilities. As health concerns continue to spread, more enterprises are implementing remote work. This places IT under increased pressure to support remote workers. Here is where AI steps in to support companies through these evolving challenges.


The Future Of Work: Virtual, Visual And Hopefully Virus Free

#artificialintelligence

Other than viewing every cough with suspicion and fear, battling COVID-19 has made working from home, a norm today. As humans, we are conditioned to search for silver linings in a storm, so the question arises- What's the silver lining here? Well, other than the synchronized show of solidarity across borders and balconies, the fast-tracking of digital transformations in companies- big and small, definitely tops the list. However, for your companies this definitely holds true. As more states move towards a lockdown, if your business doesn't hop onto the digital bandwagon, then your wheels will turn rusty with inactivity.


A 20-Year Community Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence Research in the US

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Decades of research in artificial intelligence (AI) have produced formidable technologies that are providing immense benefit to industry, government, and society. AI systems can now translate across multiple languages, identify objects in images and video, streamline manufacturing processes, and control cars. The deployment of AI systems has not only created a trillion-dollar industry that is projected to quadruple in three years, but has also exposed the need to make AI systems fair, explainable, trustworthy, and secure. Future AI systems will rightfully be expected to reason effectively about the world in which they (and people) operate, handling complex tasks and responsibilities effectively and ethically, engaging in meaningful communication, and improving their awareness through experience. Achieving the full potential of AI technologies poses research challenges that require a radical transformation of the AI research enterprise, facilitated by significant and sustained investment. These are the major recommendations of a recent community effort coordinated by the Computing Community Consortium and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence to formulate a Roadmap for AI research and development over the next two decades.