Future of work survey reveals 82% of employees expect to return to the office in 12 to 18 months
A new global business survey commissioned by Xerox shows an estimated 82% of the workforce in respondents’ organisations will have returned to the workplace in 12 to 18 months’ time.
In preparation for a return, companies are investing in new resources to support a hybrid remote / in-office workforce, with 56% increasing technology budgets and 34% planning to speed their digital transformation as a result of COVID-19.
The survey polled 600 IT decision makers including C-Suite professionals from organisations with 500 or more employees in the UK, Germany, France, US and Canada. Key findings include:
- Businesses plan to return most employees to the office, though expanded remote work policies are here to stay. Employees may not be going back to the office all at once, but the need for organisations to support a hybrid workforce is here for the foreseeable future.
- To mitigate against future disruptions companies will look to invest in new technologies and seek added capability from existing tools to accelerate their digital transformation.
- Companies are placing a renewed focus on meeting employees’ needs with both hardware and software.
The six roles you need on your AI team
There are six roles you need on your AI team:
- The strategist: A data strategist is someone who understands how the business operates and how technology and data science work together. This person acts as the bridge between business lines and technology.
- The data engineer: This person is responsible for collecting data from a variety of sources, then preparing and transforming that input. When hiring a data engineer, look for strong coding and engineering skills like SQL, Python, C++ and Java.
- The data modeller: Often sporting strong maths and statistics skills, the data modeller looks for data patterns to predict outcomes.
- The data in production person: This person converts prototype code to production, setting up a cloud environment to deploy the models. Other tasks involve managing version control, improving response times and building APIs. Look for cloud expertise and software engineering skills.
- The infrastructure and scale builder: This person builds databases to store data and facilitate access, as well as maintain security and privacy. Strong software engineering skills and proficiency in cloud technologies are required.
- The data analyst/visualiser: This role is tasked with evaluating the model’s performance and business value post-production. The person can build out A/B or multi-variate testing, to measure the impact of different variables. Look for expertise in software like R or Tableau.
Communicating through a crisis: the five themes most resonant during COVID-19
Opinium analysed 18 ads that have addressed coronavirus, from HM Government, frontline retailers such as Lidl and Amazon through to services like Deliveroo and FMCG giants such as McCain.
Five key themes emerged that resonated most with viewers:
- Keeping it simple
- Comforting normality
- Tell me the facts
- Offering some hope
Nine essentials for returning to a new normal
Where can companies focus their efforts to return employees safely, effectively and energetically? Each organisation will have a unique set of questions and challenges. Working virtually or on-site, in new departments or redesigned businesses, means a new shape of work will emerge. This will require readiness, reassurance, resilience and - critically - balancing economics and empathy.