Game-changing technologies: which do HR and people leaders think will have the most impact on the way we work?

4 minute read
The People Space asks leaders which single technology they believe will have the most significant impact on the way we work in the future and why? Here’s what they said
Headshots of seven leaders quoted on the most important technology in work
Clockwise from top left: Kimberly Rogan, Asim Hafeez,  Lou Reverchuk, Wendy Makinson,  Fred Winchar, Jim Vaselopulos and Nellie Wartoft

As technology rapidly advances and reshapes our lives, understanding the impact of these changes on the workplace is more crucial than ever. The People Space asked HR and people leaders to answer the question: "Which single technology will have the most significant impact on the way we work in the future and why?" Their responses provide a glimpse into a future where technology not only enhances productivity but also fundamentally alters how we interact, work and perceive our roles.

It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence comes out strongly, given the advent of large language models like ChatGPT and the speed at which some organisations have already implemented AI-based solutions. But AI is not the only kid on the block, according to our leaders. They are working or exploring other tools to shape the future of work in their organisations. From improving efficiency to reshaping organisational structures these technologies promise to transform the way businesses operate and how employees engage with their work.

So which technologies are capturing the interest of HR and people leaders? Check out what our leaders say below:

Artificial intelligence empowers HR and people leaders

“We envision that artificial intelligence (AI) will have the most profound influence on the future of work. AI's ability to automate repetitive tasks, process vast amounts of data and provide insights will reshape how we approach tasks, making workflows more efficient and data-driven. This transformative technology will empower HR and people leaders to make informed decisions and enhance productivity, ultimately contributing to a more streamlined, adaptable and forward-looking workforce. The future of work will be increasingly shaped by AI, offering new possibilities and efficiencies that will redefine how we operate.” Kimberly Rogan, chief of staff and head of people operations at PlanHub

Robotics as a service and AI enhance productivity

“AI, we need to figure out how AI and humans can work together. I'm not convinced that AI is just a replacement tool for a human as much as it can be a really good tool to enhance productivity. If we can figure a really good balance on how to build off of each other, I think that it will change the business world. Another big technology is the RAS model, robotics as a service. I think robotics is going to help enhance a lot of productivity for companies but also robotics working with humans can go a long, long way.” Asim Hafeez, owner and operator at Empower Energy Solutions

Blockchain revolutionises trust

“I firmly believe that decentralised blockchain technology will be a game-changer in the future of work. Blockchain's ability to create transparent, immutable ledgers for transactions will revolutionise how we handle data, contracts and even digital identities. This secure and transparent way of conducting business will cut through bureaucratic red tape, providing seamless international collaborations and instant verification processes. Thus, blockchain will empower individuals and organisations to operate with unprecedented efficiency and trust, fundamentally altering the way we work.” Lou Reverchuk, co-founder and CEO at EchoGlobal

Artificial intelligence streamlines roles

"I think we’re still very much in the ‘what next’ stage of AI. However I have noticed that there is more worry, or at least unease, than there is positive thoughts regarding where AI will leave job roles in the years to come. Personally I think it’s something that we need to embrace as a means of increasing the efficiency of areas within our roles, rather than either shying away from it or trying to make AI do everything. There will always inevitably be that human requirement regardless of how much you integrate AI into your daily roles, so I think the time has come to embrace it and see just how well AI can benefit and streamline certain aspects of your role specifically." Wendy Makinson, HR manager at Joloda Hydraroll

Quantum computing minimises risk and speeds up calculations

Although quantum computers still have a long way to go, I believe they will revolutionise the workplace. Businesses can use computers to make calculations that would have taken months or years to compute in minutes and can be used in different industries. It can help predict the changes in the stock market better, faster and more deeply analyse trading possibilities and can help pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs. Quantum computers can improve the efficiency of employees by improving their operations while minimising the risk of entrepreneurs as they get to use real-time simulation and discover new opportunities while enjoying better security, improved speed and efficiency.” Fred Winchar, CEO, co-founder and president at MaxCash

Video communication platforms enable us to relinquish our grip on the physical

"There is a gateway technology, already in our midst, that will dominate our futures. The ability to have meetings from home via Zoom/Teams etc. is the technology that severs our connection between the physical world and the technological realm. We can live anywhere, work anywhere and be productive without true physical interaction. This will affect real estate, relationships, culture and allow other technologies, like AI, to flourish as we relinquish our grip on valued physical interaction. The false sense of true physical presence will also create a stark contrast between classes of workers who must work in the physical realm." Jim Vaselopulos, author of CLARITY and founder and CEO at Rafti Advisors

Augmented reality takes people away from screens and improves participation

“I think the biggest impact will be AR, augmented reality, because it will take people away from screens. People crave to be not drawn to devices and sit in front of devices all day and have so much screen time. If you look at Gen Z, for example, they don't actually want more technology, they want less technology and for technology to just be integrated in our lives. Something like Apple Vision Pro, for example, I think is going to have a very big impact if it's done well – we'll see in January when they launch. It will allow people to be participating in the world around them at the same time as they are working and seeing a screen. People will feel like they're very close to each other, even when they're working hybrid, for example. If you and I are in a meeting, then we can have a hologram, and it can look like you're sitting here on the sofa with me. It feels like we're in a real meeting, even though we're just both meeting through augmented reality.” Nellie Wartoft, CEO and founder of Tigerhall

So our panel of leaders has spoken. These technologies will not just change the workplace but also enhance the roles and capabilities of those within it. As such, they are crucial tools shaping the future of work.

Published 22 November 2023
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