AI keeps intriguing and scaring people at the same time. It’s said to replace 60 million jobs over the next 10 years. However, AI will also create many new roles that haven’t existed before. It’s also worth knowing that 60% of today’s jobs didn’t exist 100 years ago. So, what we’re experiencing now is an evolution of the job market which isn’t a new phenomenon. We just happen to live in the middle of a huge shift thanks to the rapid development of innovative technologies.
What does remote work have to do with it? Well, it’s all about innovation, automation, and a smart working approach. As a remote worker who has been embracing this journey for almost 10 years now, I’m convinced that AI can be a huge step towards building smarter workplaces… If we use it wisely.
The everyday impact of AI at work
It’s not about “switching off your brain” and delegating everything to AI to do your job. It’s a silly idea to begin with and trust me… I’ve seen people trying to approach it this way. Let me share a very basic example of doing it wrong.
During a recruitment process, I usually ask candidates to respond to a few questions so that I can get to know them better. These are short assignments to understand someone’s way of thinking and overall approach to the presented problem. You wouldn’t believe how many “copy-paste” ChatGPT responses I receive. It happens that candidates don’t even adjust the fonts and they don’t bother to remove the tool’s background. Long story short: If I wanted to ask AI, I would have done that. If I wanted to hire a robot for the role, I wouldn’t have invited human beings to participate in the process. However, I precisely wanted to get a custom-made response with a personal opinion. So, if you’re still willing to use AI for such purposes, please think about it as an assistant or a source of advice rather than submitting generic responses without real life examples.
I mostly work in the people and HR fields. Needless to say, HR is an industry that AI may impact, and that’s why many professionals reach out to me, seeking career advice. Well, I perceive it as an opportunity for innovation and a chance to broaden horizons. I believe that AI will end up questioning tons of manual work, large amounts of time that workers spend unproductively and finally, it will massively speed up repetitive tasks and processes. There’s just one condition – we need to be able to use AI and delegate work properly.
AI can enhance people processes
AI has become my personal HR assistant and it has also allowed me to work smarter, despite taking on more and more responsibilities. I use it several times a week in areas where I know I can’t compete with its speed and accuracy. It streamlines processes, enhances decision-making and it even helps me improve employee experience.
- Pulse surveys – I tend to receive hundreds of responses… If I had to analyze all of them myself, I’d have to lock myself up in a room for days. Thanks to AI, I can quickly make calculations, group people feedback into themes and draw basic conclusions. In other words, AI tremendously helps with data analysis and preparing summaries. Of course, I then personally proceed with designing relevant strategies that are based on these insights as well as business goals.
- Performance reviews – One of the golden rules of remote work is documentation and I also expect it from all team members. Based on that, AI can analyze task completion, identify potential issues or delays, and it can also compare individual performance against team performance. It helps overcome the syndrome of “proximity bias” among team leaders who receive unbiased information about their team members. It becomes clear who delivers, and who doesn’t. This ensures equal career growth chances for remote workers, based on the value that they add to the business.
- HR reporting – Data is key, not just in the HR field. I don’t make decisions without data as it would be total nonsense to me. That’s why I ask AI to help with reporting tasks such as time to hire, employee turnover or retention rates. This helps me in making strategic decisions to improve quality, reduce spendings and recognize patterns. It’s literally like a second, analytical brain that I use on a regular basis.
Human beings come first
As much as AI can be of tremendous help just as I described above… It’s not perfect. There are many stories about artificial intelligence being gender biased and leading to increased discrimination. Why? Because this tool (I treat AI as a tool) makes judgements based on what it learned. If it’s not purely numbers, AI may make judgements based on data that it was trained on. If this data is biased, AI won’t make objective recommendations.
Some interesting examples of AI’s discriminatory practices include Amazon’s recruiting tool that discriminated against women, the COMPAS algorithm that was supposed to predict recidivism or even unintentional AI racist practices that occurred in US healthcare. So, as we can see – we literally have to “use our brains” first and think about the entire context, without blindly trusting AI in everything that we do.
It’s us, the people who steer AI and that’s how we should also approach it at work.
All in all, the potential of AI at work makes me feel optimistic about the future of work. Why? Because it challenges many outdated patterns that workplaces haven’t questioned for decades. AI doesn’t need a workplace and it does some things much faster than people. It streamlines processes and allows many workers (including myself) to focus on meaningful work.
It’s time to stress the need for work innovation and experimentation. Businesses should focus on upskilling and reskilling workers to maximize productivity, increase competitive advantage and…start working smart with modern technologies.