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On December 11, 2017, harmon.ie helped launch an independent consortium aimed at solving the growing information and app overload crisis that has had an increasing negative impact on worker productivity, creativity and wellbeing.  Called the “Humanizing the Digital Workplace Consortium,” this team examines why companies make the mistake of forcing employees into tech-driven workflows that don’t match humans’ natural way of thinking and working.  The consortium identifies solutions and offers guidance to companies about creating people-centric approaches that improve how people work in the modern digital workplace.

To kick-off the consortium, each member offered insights into the top workplace trends of 2018:

  • Rise of the Remote Workers: Organizations will optimize the remote worker experience by implementing new processes and tools that increase engagement so businesses can empower people to work where they are most comfortable. Giving employees the power to choose their location during work hours is an important step towards increasing productivity throughout an organization. – Amy Morin, Psychotherapist, Lecturer and Author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”

  • Augmenting Humanity: As machine learning and AI take shape in the workplace, expect augmented intelligence to reshape the future of work.  Areas with high repetitive, high volume, high nodes of interactions, and high complexity will most likely be moved to automation and AI.  Skill sets that require creativity, new levels of complexity, and physical presence will remain in human hands.  This augmentation of humanity will reshape not only how we work, but also determine where we work, what we work on, when we work and why we work. –R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder and Chairman of Constellation Research, Inc.

  • Working in Transit: As we enter the era of autonomous cars, mobile work stations are going to be much more elaborate and sophisticated. Soon, workers will be able to set up a whole work station in their back seat, and it won’t be much different than sitting in an office. – Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics at Emory University.

  • Measuring Productivity: We’ll see a rise of analytics that tell, from an objective standpoint, who is more productive, who will stay/leave a job, where the greatest source of qualified recruits are coming from, etc. We have a very small percentage of organizations using analytics in this way (only 15% right now), and we’ll start to see more organizations adopting this in the coming year(s). – Alexandra Levit, formerly nationally syndicated workplace columnist for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times as well as best-selling author.

  • Outcomes-focused Work over Time-focused Work: With GenZ and Millennials taking up much of the workforce, we’ll see a shift from 'Nine to Five' mentality to ‘finish the job’ mentality, even if it takes only half the time or is done remotely. – Aaron Levy, Founder and CEO of Raise the Bar Consulting, which helps companies retain millennial talent.

  • A New Path to Employee Engagement: Knowledge workers will adopt quickly to new ways of working with information and collaborating with colleagues, if we can inspire them by offering creative and user-friendly solutions, and surprise them with exceptional service at any touchpoint throughout the entire user journey. Young talents will choose their employer also based on a modern working environment and their perceived working culture. – Manfred Leu, Head of Digital Workplace User Adoption & Consulting and a Director of IT at Swiss Re.

  • AI Gets Pragmatic: The promise of AI starts to be realized, but in limited, practical ways. Rather than the job-eating technology that people fear, AI will power cloud applications that are able to anticipate information a worker will need to complete a task and provide it proactively. It sounds counter-intuitive, but AI will actually help humanize technology.  – David Lavenda, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, harmon.ie.