UK employees are becoming more accepting of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, new research reveals.
Employee benefits specialist Unum teamed up with research firm The Future Laboratory to find out employees’ motivations and priorities, aiming to understand how the nation’s workforce will change over the next decade.
The survey of 3,000 UK workers showed that almost half (49%) would be interested in using tech, such as activity-tracking wearables and time management apps, to improve their performance.
Over a third (36%) are willing to have workplace technology monitor their daily routines to help improve productivity. What’s more, people are prepared to surrender personal data to enable them to be more efficient: more than half (55%) said they would be happy to accept the associated benefit rewards for participating in their employer’s data-optimised workplace.
The report, The Future Workforce, predicts a new breed of worker – described as the Tech-Enhanced Worker – more open to using technology, allowing them to excel in an increasingly AI-driven landscape.
Other emerging groups of workers were identified as:
- The Socially-Committed Worker – those who want their employer to have a strong social conscience. As well as believing that companies have a duty to make a positive contribution to society, these workers expect their employer to give them dedicated time off to pursue charitable initiatives.
- The Obligated Worker – a group that needs flexibility in their work life due to other commitments, such as those attempting to balance raising children with caring for ageing parents.
- The Self-Fulfilled Worker – another group seeking flexibility, but out of choice rather than necessity. Almost two thirds (65%) of workers expect to work more years in their life because they want to, not because they have to.
Peter O’Donnell, CEO of Unum UK, said the findings should give business leaders “food for thought” and help them think about how to prepare for the workforce of tomorrow.