AI, AR and Flex Work: The 3 forces reshaping work in 2024
The world of work is poised for substantial transformations in 2024, building on the disruptions caused by the pandemic and the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technologies.
According to McKinsey's survey, 2023 was the breakout year for generative AI (genAI) with OpenAI's ChatGPT and DALL-E tools playing a pivotal role. However, 2024 will see a shift towards a hybrid approach in implementing genAI, emphasizing the importance of custom data sets for superior insights.
GenAI is set to become an integral part of various business sectors, including cybersecurity, software development, productivity, customer service, human resources, and fleet management.
And as people start using custom data to train the AI models they will realize that hallucinations and other shortcomings were never a technology problem, but a data problem.
GenAI use will grow vastly more relevant with more specific data inputs and integration into focused applications.
As we witnessed in 2023, businesses will try to increase their bottom line by replacing staff with AI tools. However, they will quickly realize that a more effective approach is investing in humans empowered with well-designed AI tools.
The rise of Augmented Reality (AR)
Meanwhile, high-resolution AR, particularly Apple's anticipated Vision Pro, is set to go mainstream in 2024. Although initial sales may be modest, the impact on the industry will be significant.
This technology will spill over into other Apple products, creating an interconnected AR ecosystem that revolutionizes how users interact and collaborate.
For instance, MacBook Pro users will be doing FaceTime calls with Vision Pro users. The laptop users will have their faces 3D scanned, and they’ll see the 3D scanned avatar of the Vision Pro user as a participant in the meeting.
Users of Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max smartphones will also be able to use those devices to capture 3D “spacial” videos viewable on Vision Pro devices.
Non-holographic AR, exemplified by Meta's Ray-Ban glasses, will also play a role in reshaping the workplace. With features like object recognition and AI-driven information, internet-connected glasses will become an integral part of daily work routines, akin to the smartphone revolution.
The pandemic forced the remote work experiment, and many employees have developed a taste for it. However, rigid "back-to-office" mandates are creating unnecessary friction.
The future lies in flex work – giving employees the freedom to choose where and when they work. Studies show that this not only boosts employee morale and productivity but also helps companies attract and retain talent.
In 2024, companies embracing asynchronous communication and allowing employees to tailor their work schedules will gain a competitive advantage. Failure to offer flex and remote work options may lead to understaffed, overworked, and stressed workforces.
The bottom line is that changes are surely coming to how, when, and where we work. The time to prepare for the new technology-enabled workplace — the new world of AI, AR, and flex work — is now.