Four out of five workers demand support from their employers
According to a study by Ricoh Europe, workers are confident that they have the skills they need to succeed in their careers, but also expect their employers to help them adapt to changing working conditions. The study supports Arup's new "Future of Work" report, which examines how technology, collaboration and sustainability should be at the heart of employee empowerment.
Despite the fact that new technologies and increasing automation are likely to make certain jobs redundant in the future, the majority of the 3,000 employees surveyed are open about the potential benefits of these changes, according to Ricoh's study. The majority (61%) are optimistic about the opportunities that new technologies will bring to the workplace, allowing them to work more flexibly and cooperatively. More than three-quarters (77%) also believe that they already have the necessary skills to retain their current job over the next ten years and develop their role further.
With the increasing use of technological innovations such as robotics and artificial intelligence in the workplace, companies have a duty to ensure that their employees have the skills they need for their future careers. Four out of five workers (81%) therefore expect their employers to provide tools and training to adapt to new roles as new technologies are introduced into the workplace.
David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe, said: "The speed at which new technologies are changing the market is faster than ever. There is also no sign that this trend is diminishing. This will continue to improve people's way of working, automate labour-intensive tasks and enable people to take on more demanding and creative tasks. It's only natural that workers of all generations expect their employers to use the positive aspects of technology to promote and educate them."
While the issues of flexibility and collaboration will play a central role in the work of the future, the study disproves the myth that most workers believe that the physical office will soon be a thing of the past. Only 28 percent believe that offices will cease to exist in the next ten years and that everyone will be working from a distance. However, almost three-quarters (74%) of workers expect flexible working to be included in future employment contracts. In order to work for a company that implements this practice, a third (32%) would even accept 10 percent less salary.
Mills concludes: "The best jobs are those that put people's cooperation and flexibility at the heart of their business. Moving away from traditional ways of working could prove extremely valuable for companies in the future. This helps to support, motivate and retain talent. For example, at Ricoh's global headquarters, we enable all employees to spend some time in a different role within the company. Our experience has shown that this is the right way to develop new skills, share expertise and promote an open and inclusive culture."
For the Future of Work study, more than 100 sources were analysed to gather the best approaches and use cases on how technology will shape the world of work. The study shows that technology will promote new ways of working together - between people, between people and machines, and between machines (automation).