Employees Ready to Embrace AI to improve Work/Life Balance, Fujitsu Survey Reveals
- With employees working longer hours despite falling productivity levels, most people now see Artificial Intelligence as a way to improve workplace output
- Almost half of employees believe their current workplace does not have a positive impact on the recruitment and retention of people with core skills
- Workers feel that many applications and services fail to support them, and are too overwhelmed by data to easily find the information they require
However, as the competition for skilled workers intensifies, today’s workplaces are failing to live up to the expectations of their workforce. In fact, almost half of all employees (46 percent) believe that their current workplace does not have a positive impact on the recruitment and retention of people with core skills.
Fujitsu’s new study, conducted by research firm Pierre Audoin Consultants
(PAC), looked at the challenges that businesses are experiencing as they evolve, from the perspective of their workforce. Findings highlight that not all businesses have the right culture, environment policies and technology to enable their employees to be effective, or to attract talent in the future.
Workers want support from AI, a good work/life balance and increased productivity
Although employees feel they are working as hard (45 percent) or harder (47 percent) than two years ago, more than 40 percent of respondents think their actual productivity has stalled or declined. This is potentially why most professionals surveyed now consider AI to be a positive force – as they recognize how it helps improve workplace productivity. Today, more than 80 percent of participants believe that AI, experienced via digital virtual assistants or personalized and adaptive user experiences, will have a positive effect on their daily working lives. And it isn’t just the digital native employees who are ready to embrace AI, with this positive outlook shared by both entry-level and more experienced workers.
As employees find themselves working longer hours, they are looking for ways to achieve balance between work and personal lives. This can be accomplished by flexible working hours and practices, with more than half (53 percent) considering this to be “very important” in terms of enhancing productivity. However, more than a third (35 percent) rate their employer’s ability to support a good work/life balance as only adequate or poor. A stimulating and healthy working environment was a close second at 49 percent, with access to the right productivity tools also named by 40 percent as the most important factors in their effectiveness.
Tony O’Malley, CEO of Fujitsu Ireland, comments: “In light of the ESRI’s recent findings related to stress in the workplace, it is very encouraging to see that Irish employees are now ready and willing to embrace the assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tackle this. Although technology can impact negatively on employees’ ability to strike a healthy work/life balance through the blurring of our private and corporate lives, it may also be the solution. Artificial Intelligence and productivity tools have been identified as key to improving this as at a time when people are working harder than ever. We are focused on helping realise business outcomes while driving a wider impact on society, and delivering tangible value for customers.”
Nick Mayes, research lead and Principal Analyst at PAC, comments: “The survey findings show that many of today’s workplaces and working practices still prevent employees from maximizing their productivity. Businesses must focus on effective practices by getting their data and processes in order and making it easier for employees to access the information they need, when and where they need it. With these fundamentals and the right technology in place, the possibilities for enhancing productivity are endless, from providing adaptive experiences based on context and location, to intelligent assistance and a highly-personalized service for each individual. And these are key factors that help ensure the retention of top talent, in a highly competitive market.”
In the near future, Fujitsu expects workers to place a greater emphasis on the ability to effectively blend personal and work life. As AI, machine learning and robotic process automation technologies become more widely adopted, people will expect basic processes from their employers, such as onboarding activities and seamless service request automation. Enterprises that succeed in delivering this balance will ultimately be will be able to address the challenges of productivity and will win the war for talent, by attracting and retaining skilled employees. With its human centric approach, Fujitsu is well placed to provide the services, eco-systems and technologies required for the modern, personal and flexible workplace.
Notes to editors
The study is based on an online survey of employees at large and medium-sized business in Belgium, France, Germany, Nordics, Spain, UK and Ireland, undertaken by PAC during September and October 2018.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.
About Fujitsu Ireland Ltd
Fujitsu is one of the world’s largest ICT companies, offering a complete range of products, services and solutions. With approximately 155,000 employees globally and 350 in Ireland, Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries every day. We work with clients in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, and consumer sectors to harness the full range of our technology products, solutions and services. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. We believe that true innovation comes from working with people to create solutions for people. Together with customers and partners, we are shaping a world where everyone, everywhere is empowered with digital technology. We call it Human Centric Innovation.
For further information please see http://www.fujitsu.com/ie/
Catherine Dunne / Séafra Ó Faoláin Hume Brophy
Phone: 353 1 907 6662/ +353 1 907 9987
Fujitsu Ireland is a proud member of Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), as a responsible business within the BITCI network we have achieved the Business Working Responsibly Mark and have also joined the Leaders Group on Sustainability, a collation of Ireland’s leading organisations leading the transition towards a low carbon economy. Since April 2017 Fujitsu has been working in partnership with the National Council of the Blind (NCBI). Our employees selected NCBI as our chosen charity partner and together we are raising vital funds and transforming the digital experience of those affected by sight loss.
Date: 12 December, 2018