Jobs upheaval as world adapts to era of automation

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A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit and UiPath claims that organisations around the world currently making extensive use of automation technologies, with 67 percent of UK business executives claiming to be satisfied satisfied with the results of their automation initiatives, 48 percent describing their organisation’s progress with automation as advanced, and 73 percent expecting their company’s operating costs to improve as a result of automating business processes. It is published on the same day as another report suggests that up to 20 million manufacturing jobs could be lost to robots across the world’s leading economies by 2030, replaced by a range of new jobs. More →

Manchester is the number one tech location outside of London

Manchester is the number one tech location outside of London

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Neo Manchester hosts a number of tech businessesThe UK’s regional cities are competing harder than ever with London to become the location of choice for the tech sector. According to CBRE’s report ‘Tech Cities:  Exploring tech hotspots in the UK regions’ Manchester ranks number one amongst the top 10 UK tech location outside of London, but Scotland features highly with Glasgow and Edinburgh in second and third position respectively. Birmingham has risen three places, from seventh to fourth position but smaller conurbations such as such as Reading, Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton, Brighton and Bracknell also feature, based on their concentrations of tech employment, tech businesses and high education levels. More cities are competing for the very top spots in the ranking

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Employees sceptical about attitudes of employers to digital transformation

Employees sceptical about attitudes of employers to digital transformation

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More than half of employees are confused about the true meaning of ‘digital transformation’ and have a high degree of scepticism about their employers’ appetite for digital innovation, a new poll suggests. The research into employees’ attitudes toward digital transformation, innovation and cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, conducted by YouGov amongst employees at 500 businesses with 50 or more employees, on behalf of Cherwell Software, found that 57 percent of employees don’t know the correct meaning of ‘digital transformation’: 20 percent of respondents couldn’t hazard a guess at its meaning and 12 percent thought it meant moving to a paperless office.

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Automation could replace 1.5 million UK jobs, according to Government study

Automation could replace 1.5 million UK jobs, according to Government study

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Around 1.5 million jobs in England are at high risk of some of their duties and tasks being automated in the future, Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis shows. The ONS has analysed the jobs of 20 million people in England in 2017, and has found that 7.4 percent are at high risk of automation. Women, young people, and those who work part-time are most likely to work in roles that are at high risk of automation. More →

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the workforce as we know it

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the workforce as we know it

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It may seem like an inevitable fact of administrative positions that anyone who fills them will be subjected to a never-ending litany of repetitive tasks. Employees in these jobs often don’t receive work that engages their brains or peaks their interests. Rather than flexing their critical thinking skills, these workers are resigned to completing the necessary, yet boring, administrative tasks.

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Neither bosses nor staff feel confident about future UK business environment

Neither bosses nor staff feel confident about future UK business environment

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Two new reports published this week, show a lack of confidence amongst employers and employees within the UK business environment. The latest data in Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor report shows employee confidence in near-term business conditions and long-term economic prospects reaching an index score of 55.6 for the last quarter of 2018, a decline of 7.5 percent from an index score of 60.09 in 3Q18. These results follow a worldwide trend that has seen global business confidence sink to its lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2017. Meanwhile a survey of business leaders in the UK by management consultancy Lane4 found that bosses do not feel prepared to lead through future challenges like artificial intelligence and political volatility. More →

Employees want good tech and flexibility but stick with their own fixed desk

Employees want good tech and flexibility but stick with their own fixed desk

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Almost two-thirds of those staff (60 percent) say inadequate technology is the biggest productivity blocker at work and by failing to do its job properly it is making life difficult for employees. This frustration trumps unnecessary bureaucracy, inefficient processes and annoying colleagues – other factors that stop employees from being productive, claims research from Cloudbooking. The research suggests that the digital piece of the employee experience puzzle is more prominent  and important than expected – it is in fact the single most important factor with 90 percent of UK office workers who said efficient technology is important to their overall experience. Currently fewer than one in ten UK employees are “extremely satisfied” with their workplace experience, indicating there is significant room for employers to improve it by delivering better technological resources. However, despite wanting to embrace more flexible working, staff still prefer their own fixed desk.

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Digitisation and culture of uncertainty lead employees to seek stability

Digitisation and culture of uncertainty lead employees to seek stability

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Impact of digitisation on the workplace lead employees to seek stabilityJob security is the top reason employees in the UK joined their company, and also the main reason they stay, according to Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends study. With close to one in three employees  being concerned that AI and automation will replace their job, senior managers are also worried about the effects of digitisation, with nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of executives in the UK predicting t significant disruption in the next three years, compared to 23 percent in 2018. Mercer’s global findings reveal a similar story finding that as executives focus on making their organisations “future-fit”, significant human capital risks – including the ability to close the skills gap and overcome employee change fatigue – can impede transformation progress. Addressing these concerns is paramount, given that less than one in three executives rate their company’s ability to mitigate the effect on employees as very effective.

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Digital and mobile tech at work is still not being used to full advantage

Digital and mobile tech at work is still not being used to full advantage

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Digital and mobile tech is still not being used to full advantage

Just a third of businesses are using mobile technologies for their administration tasks, and as organisations struggle to digitise, many employees admit to finding pen and paper simpler to use. The vast majority (91 percent) of workers still prefer to use a desktop or laptop for administrative tasks, according to the research commissioned by ABBYY, as only one third (35 percent) use mobiles for admin, despite 43 percent of workers wanting to use it for this purpose. Millennials in particular are keen to use mobiles, with 55 percent wanting to use mobiles for admin – yet only 43 percent currently do. Older generations are also open to using mobile for admin, with 35 percent of Gen X currently doing so, and 41 percent wanting to. However, it’s clear that some employees are finding the latest technologies, such as mobile, too difficult to use – 28 percent still want to use pen and paper for admin tasks, as 46 percent find it simpler than other means. Desktop still runs the workplace in the UK, regardless of today’s remote working climate. Almost half of workers (48 percent) use a desktop or laptop because it’s easier, and 41 percent because it’s faster.

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A four day week, people-watching at work, the art of AI and some other stuff

A four day week, people-watching at work, the art of AI and some other stuff

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While the recent Finnish pilot of universal basic income had mixed results, a trial of the other most talked about solution to our problem with work – the four day week – has been reported as far more promising. A New Zealand financial services firm called Perpetual Guardian switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week last November and maintained their pay. The results (registration) included a 20 percent rise in productivity and improved staff wellbeing and engagement.

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It is time for organisations to embrace the digital workplace

It is time for organisations to embrace the digital workplace

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It is time that organisations embraced the digital workplaceWith the rise of both cloud-based technology and the worldwide gig economy, the last ten years of the 21st century have seen some near-revolutionary changes in workplace practice. Entrepreneurs everywhere have been more than happy to make use of these developments, taking advantage of the new business models these changes have brought. For example, IDG found that 73 percent of the organizations that they surveyed have at least one application already in the cloud, and according to ONS, since 2010 there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of non-employer businesses in the private sector, a change attributed to the growing popularity of the gig economy. However, despite all the advances in workplace culture, thousands of workers in the UK are being left behind in outdated modes of work.

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Boost in adult learning essential when preparing for the future of work

Boost in adult learning essential when preparing for the future of work

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Many OECD countries need to urgently scale-up and upgrade their adult learning systems to help people adapt to the future world of work, according to a new OECD report. Getting Skills Right: Future-Ready Adult Learning Systems says that new technologies, globalisation and population ageing are changing the quantity and quality of jobs as well as the skills they require. Providing better skilling and re-skilling opportunities to workers affected by these changes is essential to make sure the future works for all.

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