Ideally, the future of work refers to a forecast of how work will evolve in the coming years in terms of who does the work, how the work is done, and where and when work is done.
If COVID-19 is anything to go by, we have witnessed the way we work evolving rapidly in a short span of time. From the pandemic, it is clear that the future workplace winners are those that will prepare today for how the future of work is likely to impact their organizations in the years to come.
One of the ways to do this is through data and analytics to inform better decisions. So, what role can data collection play in helping organizations prepare for the future of work?
The role of data collection in the future of work
Data collection refers to the process of gathering, measuring, testing, and evaluating information on different future work variables such as integrated systems, adoption of new technologies, hybrid work, and more.
This will help companies understand the future of the work landscape better, make data-backed decisions, and make informed predictions about the future. Additionally, tracking data will play an important role in piloting and testing the effectiveness of different workplace solutions.
However, for data to fulfill its purpose, it is important to ensure accurate, consistent, high-quality, and standardized data. Organizations have to pay attention not only to the data collection methods that they use but also invest in data security and agile analytical tools.
Moreover, data security can be enhanced through encryption and password protection to name a few. In addition, knowledge graphs can help organizations to add context and depth to AI techniques like machine learning. This aids in transforming data collected into information and insights that can support decision-making.
Here is how data collection will apply to different elements of the future of work.
Enabling hybrid and remote work
The hybrid model is growing at a rapid pace, especially after the pandemic. Employees want to continue enjoying working from home, but also have the opportunity to work in the office for camaraderie and collaboration.
By using smart technology to collect data, businesses can study how employees utilize office space. This data can help in designing workspaces that cater to different work styles. This could mean creating different seating areas such as lounges and café-style areas to promote relationship-building for better collaboration.
Understanding future talent needs
There is an emergence of new positions that are critical for running a business today to ensure preparedness for the future. Forward-thinking organizations are already staffing these positions such as AI specialists, automation recruiters, and more.
In addition, automation is performing activities that professionals such as customer service and management staff once did. However, organizations need to understand that the employees that are being replaced still have skills that can contribute to the future growth of the company. Rather than letting them go, these employees can be retrained and their skills repurposed in other areas of the business.
Collecting marketplace data in terms of talent demand and supply can give insights on the changing priorities in the market. This can help identify knowledge gaps in the workforce, enabling proactivity in reskilling and upskilling employees.
Improving workplace experience
Workplace experience has become a major focus for employees and is likely to shape the future of work. For employers who want to retain talent longer and improve employee engagement, enhancing employee experience is paramount now and in the future.
Data collection through employee engagement surveys and group-wide assessments can help identify core pain points as well as individual needs and wants. Since employees will continually be looking for personalized experiences as they work, organizations can use analytics to help make employees’ experiences in the workplace specially tailored to them based on real-time feedback.
Enhancing coworking spaces
Data analysis also help companies analyze the market better in terms of selling, purchasing, and what a company needs or doesn’t need. For coworking owners, it’s key to ask questions regarding how a coworking space or network is developing.
For example, having data on the most-used areas of a coworking location can help owners make the most of the available space. Knowing which types of workstations are most in demand, such as private offices or collaborative meeting rooms, will give owners insight into the layouts or design that is most impactful and useful for members.
Moreover, owners can use data to analyze if all invoices are paid, to check availability of new memberships, and to assess the growth of the company by analyzing revenue from past quarters. These are just a few ways in which data collection can be utilized by coworking space owners to improve the overall efficiency of a space.
The world of work is always changing, especially in this era of continued technological advancements.
For businesses to survive the next chapter and the innovations that will arise, it is important to start preparing today. This is only possible by keeping an eye on emerging trends.
Collecting data will help identify gaps and allow businesses to take actionable steps. Done right, data collection can help identify talent gaps, ensure improved workplace experiences as well as enable different workstyles to improve the overall efficiency of remote teams.