Shaking off the dust from what could be described as the longest year known to man -- remote work is a hot topic in the world of employment. By establishing both its benefits, as well as its challenges, remote work has people talking about its permanence. What is more, employees have become accustomed to remote working, in fact, many of them actually prefer it to the office. According to a FlexJobs survey, 65% of employee respondents reported wanting to be full-time remote post-pandemic, and 31% want a hybrid remote work environment -- that's 96% who desire some form of remote work. These numbers inevitably mean that the methods in which we worked during the pandemic, primarily via the screen and through video calls, will have some longevity.
In 2010, Microsoft's Kinect smart camera recognized you and logged you in to your Xbox. Now Microsoft is applying the same principles to meetings, announcing support for a future lineup of intelligent cameras that will zoom in and highlight you in hybrid meetings. Support for intelligent cameras in Microsoft Teams is just part of several announcements Microsoft made Thursday regarding the future of so-called hybrid work, where employees navigate between working at home and in the office. New features include the ability to tell coworkers whether you'll be working from home or in the office via Outlook, be it your weekly schedule or an RSVP for a specific meeting, and to stream video of yourself as you present a PowerPoint presentation. Intelligent meeting cameras represent the evolution of Microsoft's approach to hybrid work.
In the wake of the pandemic, the outlines of a new kind of digital workplace are starting to emerge. Get a glimpse of the future in this short video. Large numbers of employees have adjusted successfully to working remotely. Many businesses are looking for new ways to support online productivity and strengthen business resiliency with remote capabilities, while ensuring a safe return to work for on-site employees. So what does the future of work look like?
The Software Report is pleased to announce The Top 100 Software Companies of 2021. This year's awardee list is comprised of a wide range of companies from the most well-known such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Salesforce to the relatively newer but rapidly growing - Qualtrics, Atlassian, and Asana. A good number of awardees may be new names to some but that should be no surprise given software has always been an industry of startups that seemingly came out of nowhere to create and dominate a new space. Software has become the backbone of our economy. From large enterprises to small businesses, most all rely on software whether for accounting, marketing, sales, supply chain, or a myriad of other functions. Software has become the dominant industry of our time and as such, we place a significance on highlighting the best companies leading the industry forward. The following awardees were nominated and selected based on a thorough evaluation process. Among the key criteria considered were ...
The Covid 19 Pandemic has been detrimental for different sectoral developments. However, one sector that has benefitted from remote work practices is Information Technology (IT). Overbearing dependence on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made remote working fun and interactive. Artificial Intelligence has become an inseparable entity in our professional sphere. With increased data usage comes the risk of data breaches.
In less than two years, the workplace has evolved quickly. Our personal space inside our homes has transformed into a makeshift office, while corporate buildings are vacant and underutilised. As vaccines continue to roll out, a hybrid work model has emerged, with staff now alternating and'taking turns' being back in the office. In the US, research done by SHRM.org highlights that 55% of the workforce favours a hybrid workforce post-pandemic. In the UK, a survey by PWC found 77% of UK employees want a mix of face-to-face and remote working.
Flexible, contingent, or'agile,' working arrangements provide workers with greater autonomy over when, where, or how to fulfill their responsibilities. In search of increased productivity and reduced absenteeism, organizations have increasingly turned to flexible work arrangements. Although access to flexible work arrangements is more prevalent among high-skilled workers, in the form of flextime or co-working, the past decade has also witnessed growth of independent contractors, digital nomadism, digitally enabled crowdwork, online freelancing, and on-demand platform labor.3 Flexible work arrangements reduce commutes and can enable workers with care-responsibilities to stay in the workforce. Younger workers also see flexibility as a top priority when considering career opportunities.2 Flexible working arrangements can also be mutually beneficial, enabling organizations to scale dynamically. Specific skill sets can be immediately accessed by turning to freelancers to fill organizational gaps. A growing number of organizations and workers rely on short-term and project-based relationships, using online platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr to connect. However, flexible work arrangements often come entwined with precarity cloaked in emancipatory narratives.5 Fixed salaries and benefits have given way to hourly rates and quantified ratings.
The IT enterprise may have started the year stalled on its efforts to deploy at scale production machine learning and artificial intelligence projects, but that didn't last long. The global pandemic's impact included serving as a catalyst to accelerate any number of IT projects for a new way of doing business, and those included AI and automation. The shift to working remotely for so many desk workers necessitated a change in how to do business, sure. But the shift to remote work coincided with a giant spike in demand for customer service and support. For instance, at the consumer bank, who was answering the incoming calls from customers about whether stimulus checks had arrived or cleared?
The past year has been unpredictable for businesses – from migrating to remote work to planning for a return to offices to keeping pace with shifting government guidelines. With so much in flux, it was and is a good reminder that organizations must be prepared for the unexpected and have contingency plans in place. From an IT standpoint, this means ensuring that employees are well equipped to work efficiently and safely, no matter what work may look like in the year ahead. Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are evolving quickly, enabling enterprises to better manage an ever-changing hybrid workforce. When companies quickly and unexpectedly moved their employees to remote work last year, networks experienced increased pressure on multiple fronts: usage, quality and issue remediation.
With many companies working from home during the pandemic, managers and employers have found themselves in a difficult position with running scattered teams away from the office. Some have turned to technology to help, but they may be walking a dangerous path using tools like artificial intelligence and algorithms to track employees and their work throughout the day, or even facial recognition that can ensure that someone is at their desk. A recent report by the Institute for the Future of Work, a British research and development group, said that algorithmic systems typically used in monitoring the performance of warehouse workers or delivery riders have pervaded more and more industries. Andrew Pakes, deputy general secretary at U.K.-based trade union Prospect, told CNBC that these "digital leash" technologies have been an upward trend for some time and that Covid-19 remote working accelerated it. "This was an issue we were picking up before Covid but over the last year, it's grown rocket boosters as companies have turned to technology," Pakes said.