While the emergence of artificial intelligence has been met with varying levels of scepticism and fear from employers and employees respectively, its potential can’t be underestimated when it comes to remote work in the COVID 19 era.
Machine learning is already actively increasing employment opportunities for job applicants across the world, while AI could soon eliminate repetitive work entirely - allowing businesses more time to train workers to pick up more skilled tasks.
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The appeal of remote work is increasing exponentially worldwide. Although companies have been somewhat slower in embracing remote work, the COVID-19 pandemic has inadvertently showcased how technology can allow employees to operate at similar levels of productivity with ease - despite being outside of their workplace.
The graph above illustrates how remote work is gathering in momentum, down in no small part to the accessibility of technology. With COVID-19 forcing more workers than ever to set up offices in their own home, will office life ever be the same again for workforces? Could both AI and machine learning really sustain a working from home (WFH) culture for more companies?
Managing Remote Work with AI
HR managers and associates are required to undertake many tasks that allow them to comply with legal requirements for hiring as well as the policies issued by their respective companies. Finding the right candidate can be a time-consuming process when all of these compliances are taken into account. However, businesses can create remote positions that ease the load for managers or in-house employees.
One of the criticisms about WFH surrounds a business’ ability to monitor the productivity and quality of output from external workers. Fortunately, artificial intelligence and machine learning are on hand to help out. Team leaders, supervisors and managers alike can turn to machine learning programs to monitor staff performance in a non-invasive and accurate manner.
More modern systems are capable of utilising information through survey-based tools in order to provide impartial performance reviews and deliver accurate reports that indicate respective employee strengths and weaknesses on a case-by-case basis.
Here, technology takes the lead and creates a level of analysis that’s difficult to replicate through human management. This is especially true for companies with a large number of employees that work from remote locations.
A Match Made in The Future
HR professionals and hiring managers alike can often find the process of finding fitting candidates wholly time-consuming. Recruitment is often tedious, and when there are lots of applicants, there’s always a danger that skilled candidates can get overlooked.
AI will soon become a pivotal part of internal recruitment. Programs capable of automatically sifting through hundreds of CVs, online profiles and covering letters will be able to pick out key attributes and desirable qualities in candidates and highlight them where appropriate.
Technology will help to fill out remote positions, too. With this in mind, AI and WFH really are a match made in the future. Remote work will help businesses to reduce in-house expenses and allow skilled employees to work for companies based on their attributes, rather than their proximity to the office.
Matching up AI and remote work helps recruiters to screen for the most well-suited candidates, as well as build appeal with prospective employees who are looking to operate from home.
Overcoming The Drawbacks of Remote Work
Following on from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, it’s inevitable that more businesses will embrace WFH at a faster rate. However, while the option of remote work is very much on the table for more employees, it’s not ideal for everyone.
Some employees are unable to successfully work from home due to possibly having a confined shared living space, and will subsequently find it difficult to become productive as a result. Elsewhere, remote work can significantly benefit stay-at-home parents and carers alike.
The climate surrounding COVID-19 has led to remote work becoming an essential choice in aiding the protection of employees. This, in turn, is helping companies to learn more about the potential that WFH and AI holds. More businesses are beginning to craft sustainable WFH programs that help to manage productivity and delegate tasks effectively from afar.
These new approaches could be significant in the development of more remote opportunities for employees - leaving the door open for full-time remote work.
Of course, AI comes with caveats. It’s unavoidable that artificial intelligence will take some jobs that are undertaken by human workers today. However, it opens the door to more jobs being created.
Those who have taken WFH tasks in the past will be aware of the power possessed by AI technology. In continuing to develop artificial intelligence systems, it’s vital that workers develop skills and the knowledge required to keep such systems in check.
The unfortunate arrival of COVID-19 has provided global workforces with a remote work road test. Despite its caveats and limitations, AI will soon transform our perceptions of WFH positions and break new ground for the businesses looking to hire and work with talent from around the world.