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How AI Motivates A Remote Workforce

The COVID-19 virus has caused millions of white-collar knowledge workers to work from home, and while this could be seen as a boon to productivity, unfortunately it is not.  These remote workers battle hundreds of daily distractions from helping children to making dinner along with the usual online breaks.  Over time, these non-company activities add up and can yield at least 3-4 hours of unproductive work time.

Yet, these workers are worried about their jobs and want to hold on to them during a time of record unemployment. They want to show their organizations that they are as productive and valuable as ever to retain their coveted positions.  High levels of productivity are equated with professional advanced and personal well-being.  These workers want to do the “deep work” – the work that really matters to an organization, drives profits and innovation, rather than do “busy work” or process-oriented tasks.

At the same time, organizations are very worried about the lack of productivity plaguing this new remote workforce.  Salary.com reveals that 89% of workers admit to wasting time during work hours with 61% squandering at least 30 to 60 minutes each day – and 64% of those blame it in on the Internet, a huge temptation for those toiling from home with no one watching.

But there is a silver lining to all of this bad news.  New advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will help workers stay focused on the most important work by automating tedious, time-consuming tasks and providing guidance that helps them deliver the most important initiatives that drive profits for their organizations.  AI can serve as a valuable personal career coach for workers that want to achieve new heights for their organizations – not the job eliminator that people once thought it was. 

AI has been automating mundane tasks for at least 24 months now. But who knew that it could provide guidance and insight to individual workers looking for a career boost?  Right now, at the world’s most successful airline and most profitable advertising conglomerate, AI is being used by department leaders to provide the guidance and insight to keep teams highly focused.   AI excels at using accurate data to produce powerful business insights – often better than humans can.  We simply don’t have the ability to observe and process the same volumes and at the same speed as AI does.

An average executive does  not have a full view of the business. Lets’ face it – we often make decisions with very limited and biased input.  This incomplete and biased view leads people to made inadequate decisions that often hurt the business.

Thankfully, AI provides the accurate data in real-time to make better decision-making a reality.  Of course, we cannot let AI and machine learning take over all aspects of leadership. But we can use it to give us a better starting point to make better decisions from the get-go.

Most executives to do no have time to observe their team members in action. If only they could serve as an athletic coach and have the bandwidth to be 100% performance oriented. But they don’t have that luxury. That’s where AI comes in. 

AI works in the background to continually observe workers and then make prioritized, personalized recommendations for managers to execute on. 

With AI, employers can automatically check the quality of employee work. And they can accurately determine if an employee has a positive or negative impact on the work of other team members. Is their work so strong that that make less work for others? Or do they make mistakes or forget to do key initiatives forcing others to do it for them, thereby making more work for others? These are key things that AI can reveal. 

AI also serves as a powerful motivator.  For salespeople, AI can determine when to reach out, follow-up, nudge a prospect.  AI can make these recommendations accurately and in real time, enabling them to close deals more effectively. 

AI yields accurate data and then analyzes it to produce insights that help teams make the best positive decisions.  Right now, companies are sitting on significant underutilized data.  We collect tons of data but we don’t always leverage it.  But AI takes this data and its algorithms make accurate predictions, asking the right questions and uncovering the right answers to address multiple possible scenarios, thereby showing organizations the “what if” implications of every possible decision.

Furthermore, AI can be used to develop stronger leaders.  Over $50B is spent per year in leadership development, but sadly, that investment is failing to yield equal results. Only 7% of CEOs believe their companies are building effective leaders.  Instead of costly leadership seminars, what if executives had AI-powered productivity solutions right in their phones – and they used that technology to make better business decisions and monitor employee performance and productivity? 

At this time, in the face of the worst economic environment since the Great Depression, we need a friend in AI to help us navigate the turmoil and emerge better and stronger.  AI will give us the data and the power to see through the murky uncertainty and know which risks to take and which ones to avoid. It will also help us motivate teams and keep them focused during the long boring hours at home with little contact with bosses and team members. AI will serve as a trusted guide during these dark days and we will come out better for it in the end.

About the Author

Dr. Tommy Weir is the CEO and founder of enaible, the AI-powered leadership company. Dr. Weir has spent the past two decades conducting leadership research and coaching CEOs with data science. His books on leadership have earned numerous accolades, including “Leadership Dubai Style,” (#1 best-seller status on Amazon, First Finalist in the International Book Awards), and “Ten Tips for Leading in the Middle East,” (the #2 book in the Wall Street Journal’s Readers Poll).

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Comments

  1. Different apps like zoom, skype, google meet are changing the way we work. Even in the coronavirus pandemic everybody is working from home and all this app are giving a feel like office working.

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