How does AI impact the organisation?
Author How does AI impact the organisation?  | 

We will focus on the three key pillars that will shape the new world of work in the organisation (leaving business strategy and decision-making aside): Digital, Behavioural, and Physical.

The first pillar, Digital, refers to information and communication technologies, which permeate all aspects of work and workplace thinking. Some of the ways that AI will impact the digital side are:


  • Increase in Productivity and Efficiency: Besides the economic aspect of it, AI has an effect on productivity from the workers’ perspective—it takes charge of repetitive tasks, facilitates the performance of many tasks (or allows to do them faster), and can even provide guidance. [4; 3; 10]. 30% of global IT professionals say employees at their organization are already saving time with new AI and automation software and tools by automating repetitive actions [11]. Furthermore, according to a Salesforce study [17], workers who use chatbot assistants reported spending significantly most of their time working on complex problems, compared to the ones who did not (64% vs 50%, and AI assistants have gotten considerably more capable since then).


  • Changes in working roles: AI will not only impact job roles by helping with automation, but it will only change roles and tasks. Without getting deeper into this specific aspect, it is important to keep in mind that some jobs will be more impacted than others. For example, routine manual or cognitive tasks are more likely to be susceptible than others [1]. Predictions in this area are difficult to make and have not proven to be successful in the past (because AI development keeps surprising us, and its impact on working roles and identities with it), but job displacement is a reality or at least a fear for many at the moment. What is sure is that AI already brought (and will increasingly do) requirements of employee retraining, new works of form arrangement, and AI-augmented work [3; 23].


The second pillar, Behavioural, refers to how people have different needs and behaviour both in their own work tasks and how they collaborate with others. Some of the ways that AI will impact the behavioural pillar are:


  • Changes in human-human and new Human-AI collaboration: AI will not only impact how people look at systems and understands their role in their collaboration with tools such as AI, but it is likely to impact how humans collaborate with others—for example, my collaboration with a co-worker could be assisted or mediated by an AI assistant, or I could need to talk with an AI for some tasks instead of another department. There are many examples where this is already happening. For example, many companies are bringing chatbots and AI assistants to help with HR enquiries to people at the company [e.g., 2]. Others are installing office assistants that deal with bookings, lunch, and all things premises. We have also all interacted with customer attention systems that are getting increasingly better. Furthermore, AI tools like Microsoft’s Co-pilot that help highly specific workers (software developers), are already changing the experience of work and teams for many.


  • New required skills and working patterns: AI is quickly raising the need for bringing new skills to the company and adapting to new working patterns [e.g., 1]. Workers are having to spend time learning to use AI tools or trainingthem, and others have to change how they perform their tasks—for instance, an engineer or supervisor might be able to reduce their on-site work thanks to computational vision tools.


  • More time should lead to more interaction: Some referents believe that employees will (or should) have more available time with the aid of AI tools. Together with AI replacing the need to collaborate with other humans in some cases, in light of this companies must provide the infrastructure to facilitate social interaction, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.



  • Self-Identity: An aspect that is increasingly being explored, is how all the above will have implications on work identity and employees’ social contract with the organisation [13; 19], which will probably require companies to take a stand and address this shift.


The third pillar, Physical, looks at how space and technology in the workplace align with the task and vision of the organisation. Some of the ways that AI will impact the physical pillar are:


  • Workplace operations: AI will facilitate workplace operations [14]. Companies are using computer vision and intelligent systems to monitor people traffic, to design and optimise this traffic, and to predict how it will look in the future, which is not crucial only for places that are in a particularly dynamic business (e.g., manufacturing, retail), but also for offices embracing hybrid work and elevated experiences to employees. Safety, a major concern and requirement in the workplace, can be heavily aided by AI, as it allows one to monitor and control things like external visitors and anomalous situations.


  • Ergonomics: AI can help improve and monitor workplace ergonomics, such as workers’ posture and physical activity [e.g., 6]. By analysing a person’s posture and detecting whether it is correct and healthy or not, an AI can identify how and when workers should change their movements, overall posture, or whole working patterns. For example, companies are using this technology in industry to prevent workers from getting injured in a personalised way, and in offices to provide personalised coaches to promote physical activity. In fact, the global workplace safety market is expected to grow from USD $14.2bn in 2022 to $26.7bn in 2027, a CAGR of 13.5%, one of the drivers being new technologies such as AI [20].


  • Individual monitoring: AI allows companies to monitor workers individually, not only regarding their use of the physical space at the office but also looking at what they do when they are working with their devices (computers, phones, wearables, etc.). However, this high level of monitoring is linked with an increase in workers’ stress and anxiety [12], therefore the potential benefits of using technology with this objective can be vastly overridden by its downsides.


  • Use of spaces and work environment: As intelligent tools are sophisticated and improved ways to analyse vast amounts of data, they allow us to understand and design the use of spaces and work environments in a data-driven to a level that has not been seen before [24]. Besides improving traffic patterns and user experiences (UX), by leveraging AI tools it is possible to optimise the work environment, specifically, adjusting lighting, temperature, air quality, etc. at a precise level, at the right moment, making real-time adjustments, and meeting a company’s requirements in terms of effectiveness and cost efficiency.


  • Large-scale urban changes: These shifts in technology, working patterns and workplaces, will potentially bring changes in cities on a much larger scale [e.g., 8]. Hence, the role of offices and the physical presence of organisations will likely shift to respond to other needs rather than provide a space for workers to perform specific tasks, for example, by becoming a stronger platform for social and collaborative interactions.


This list does not aim to be completely exhaustive but to illustrate some important ways in which AI will impact the workplace from a digital, behavioural, and physical perspective. Even if can be challenging or overwhelming to process and adopt all the opportunities brought by AI, we must be aware that, in one way or another, they will play an important role in shaping the future of work.









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