What Google IO 8 Can Tell Us About The Future Of Work

This week, Google wowed the world with the features and developments it announced at IO 8, especially regarding the Google Assistant. What is more obvious than ever is Google’s emphasis on artificial intelligence.

The voice assistant is improving in geometric proportions, becoming more human in its functionality and relatability. All of this brings to mind how quickly the future we have imagined for long is becoming a reality.

As obvious and as simple as it sounds, the best way to be ready for the future is to prepare for it. A lot has been written about the future of the work. Most of it answering questions like: What will it look like? What skills will be most valuable? What roles will be in demand? How can professionals and businesses get ready and stay ahead?

The crux of these questions is advancement – for employees, employers and businesses – how do all combine to make business processes more efficient and improve returns?

At this time, most forward-thinking businesses are turning to intelligent automation. They are asking questions like:

  • Where do the bottlenecks exist?
  • What roles are better off automated?
  • How will the evolution of these roles impact the bottom line of the business?
  • What are industry trends leading up to?
  • How fast can you adapt and try new things?
  • Will this be a positive change for your company?

Certain roles within organisations simply must evolve to measure up to competition and the speed of technology and the on-demand economy.

These roles are repetitive tasks that require little to no shift from routine. The increasing rate of digitalisation requires that businesses move from manual to automated processes, powered by machine learning and leaving room for their employees to focus on more strategic, fulfilling and long-term-impact activities.

Here are four roles within your company that are better off automated for efficiency:

  1. Receptionists

The role of a receptionist is often to answer calls and make appointments. They also handle administrative tasks. This role is gradually disappearing from the workforce, with an Oxford University study predicting that it has a 96% chance of automation.

There are now virtual assistants who can do the bulk of a receptionist’s work. As we learned during IO 8, Google is working on its voice assistant to be able to make phone calls the way a human would.

During a live demo, the Google Assistant successfully placed a call to make a hair appointment with a human being, all the while negotiating time and adjusting to circumstances.

  1. Telemarketers and sales reps

Telemarketers advise customers, present or prospective, by answering their calls on a shift basis. Their role involves operating telephone equipment, automatic dialling systems, and other telecommunications technologies. On the average, they make $27,170 per year.

Sales reps sometimes sit in the office and cold call customers or they go out in the street to pitch your business to people. They often earn higher than telemarketers, with a salary average of $68,410 per year.

The more social media and the Internet become more relevant in people’s lives, the more influential online elements are to informing people’s purchase decisions, the less need you have for telemarketers and sales reps.

Instead, invest the money in digital marketing. This way, you can have more measurable results and you can constantly tweak your strategy to suit what people want.

  1. Accounting clerks

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting, bookkeeping and auditing clerks basically “produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.” They require basic Math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software. Their median annual wage is $39,240.

With the advent of cloud accounting and accounting-as-a-service startups (AAAS), this role can be automated and outsourced. Automating this role eliminates any possibilities for human error and saves companies money. AAAS usually offer affordable packages commensurate to the size of your company.

  1. Customer service reps

The customer service rep role is gradually evolving with new technology. AI-powered chatbots can now handle queries from customers 24 hours everyday. And the good thing about them is that they are constantly learning and improving.

In essence, what are we saying?

The hallmark of great business owners is their ability to remove themselves from the grind of daily life and focus on the bigger picture. For your business to survive and thrive, technology and innovation must become ingrained in the company culture and operations.

If you are interested in learning more about how to optimise your information processes and better manage your workforce, download WorkFusion’s paper on machine learning and boost your knowledge bank.

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