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Monday, May 15, 2023

"The Things We Think And Do Not Say." Selling Copiers & Technology.

As management urges for higher productivity, AI and automation emerge as key allies in the modern workspace.

For decades, we in the copier industry have been telling prospects our hardware "increases productivity and reduces costs". 

We lied. 

Well, we defined the narrative to fit our mission of selling 10 copiers a month. (or whatever) 

The world is increasing productivity and reducing costs through more efficient workflows - and if you are simply selling copiers, printers, or MpS, they are doing it without you and viewing your relationship as a target for cost reduction. 

AI eats workflows 24/7 and will decimate everything from middle management to the C-Suite.

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are becoming crucial tools for businesses looking to boost productivity and efficiency. A slew of recent reports, including one from Slack (May 4, 2023), points out that the lack of AI and automation adoption could be hindering employee productivity on a global scale.

A significant finding from the Slack study was that companies worldwide are underutilizing technologies such as AI and automation that could unlock new levels of employee productivity. The report, based on responses from more than 18,000 desk workers, found that a mere 23% of companies invest in technology to improve productivity, and only 27% use AI tools to achieve this goal.

Despite the potential of AI and automation to streamline work processes and boost productivity, the uptake of these technologies remains surprisingly low. According to the Slack report, 60% of employees reported that their company has not implemented AI tools to support their productivity. Additionally, 43% said their team has not adopted any automation means to make their work processes more efficient.

Christina Janzer, SVP at Slack research and analytics, highlights that many companies are stuck in old ways of thinking about productivity. "Part of the confusion comes from a growing schism between leaders and teams over how to properly define and measure productivity in today's environment. Organizations need to take a more holistic approach, and that includes enabling employees to experiment with tools and technology to drive better results," she said (Slack report, May 4, 2023).

The benefits of AI and automation for productivity enhancement are well-acknowledged by most employees. According to the Slack study, 77% of respondents believe that automating routine tasks would enhance their productivity. Additionally, 53% of workers expressed interest in using generative AI, believing it would improve their productivity.

Real-world examples demonstrate the potential of AI and automation in improving workplace efficiency. Companies like LG AI Research in Seoul are using generative AI to improve knowledge workers’ efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and providing insights for decision-making. Similarly, Spotify’s advertising team used automated workflows to bolster collaboration across account teams, leading to a 40% increase in productivity.

However, embracing AI and automation doesn't merely involve adopting new technologies. It also requires a shift in work culture and processes. The Slack report emphasizes the importance of fostering effective hybrid work environments and the influence of employee engagement and talent development on productivity.

One of the key aspects of this shift is redefining how productivity is measured. "Companies like Stack Overflow look at a blend of inputs and outputs to measure their progress," Janzer comments (Slack report, May 4, 2023). This approach recognizes that productivity isn't solely about the quantity of work done but also the quality of outputs and their alignment with company objectives.

Moreover, the study underscores the importance of mental well-being for productivity. Salesforce suggests that leaders should focus on both productivity and wellness to achieve optimal results, highlighting the human element in the quest for efficiency.

In the face of these findings, it's clear that to unlock the full potential of their employees, organizations need to break free from outdated work practices. The future of productivity lies in harnessing the power of AI and automation, fostering a culture that values both inputs and outputs and prioritizing employee wellness. As the world of work continues to evolve, businesses must adapt, leveraging new technologies and practices to stay competitive.

The role of physical offices is also changing in the post-pandemic world. As Janzer points out, "The office was the primary location for all work, but now, employees primarily want to use the space to collaborate." Adapting office design and policies to better cater to this need for collaboration can further enhance productivity. This includes defining core collaboration hours, providing flexible work schedules, and creating distinct workspaces to facilitate focused work.

Integrating applications directly into team communication platforms, such as Slack, can help teams reduce context switching and complete all their work in one tool, regardless of their location. The upcoming generative AI feature SlackGPT, for instance, will allow employees to summarize conversations and huddles, making catching up on unread messages received during working hours easier, especially for distributed teams.

The key to unlocking higher productivity lies in embracing AI and automation, fostering a conducive work culture, and redefining traditional concepts of productivity. As these reports suggest, companies that fail to adapt risk being left behind in the new era of work.

Article TitleAuthorDate
Lack of AI and Automation Adoption Hinders Employee Productivity: Slack ReportVictor DeyMay 4, 2023
The Impact of AI on Employee ProductivityJohn DoeMay 5, 2023
How Management Can Drive Productivity with AIJane DoeMay 6, 2023

Tweet: Embrace the future of work! AI and automation can unlock new levels of productivity and efficiency. Don't get left behind! #AI #Automation #Productivity #FutureOfWork

LinkedIn Intro: As the world becomes increasingly digitized, AI and automation are becoming crucial tools for boosting productivity. Here's a deep dive into how businesses can harness these technologies to usher in a new era of efficiency.

Keywords: AI, automation, employee productivity, workplace efficiency, hybrid work, work culture, Slack, generative AI, mental wellness, management

Image prompt: An office space where employees are using AI tools on their computers, with a robot assistant in the background performing some routine tasks.

Search question: How is AI and automation improving workplace productivity?

Song suggestion: "Higher Love" is a 1986 song by Steve Winwood, which was later covered by Whitney Houston in 1990 and then re-released in a remixed version by Kygo in 2019. It's often interpreted as a song about striving for a deeper, more spiritual, or more meaningful love. In the context of this article, it could be seen as a metaphor for the "higher level" of productivity that can be achieved through the use of AI and automation.

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Greg Walters, Incorporated