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Future of Work

Your weekly CogX briefing on HR tech, automation, and the workplace
The week's developments on automation & the workplace, explained | 06.11.23

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Ever since the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, there's been a slow tug-of-war between UK workers and employers over return-to-work mandates. But as the job market cools, the push for office work may be gaining the upper hand, with in-office employees now outnumbering hybrid workers for the first time since the pandemic. Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for hybrid working?

A study by the International Labour Organization found that 7.8% of women’s jobs in high-income countries have the potential to be automated by AI — compared to just 2.9% of men’s jobs. Gender inequality in the workplace is a longstanding issue, but with the era of AI automation dawning, new potential risks are emerging for women.

Explore these topics — as well as the latest on how companies are shifting away from remote work, and the winners and losers in the AI arms race — in the CogX Must Reads.


—Charlie & the Research & Intelligence team


P.S. After an incredible CogX Festival 2023, we're gearing up for another year of cutting-edge innovation, game-changing breakthroughs, and endless inspiration. Don't miss out – grab your super early bird tickets now and secure your spot at CogX Festival 2024 today!

CogX Must Reads


Top Stories

In-office employees outnumber hybrid workers for the first time since Covid-19

43% of UK workers were back in the office in August and September, up from 36% a year earlier, according to a survey by Hays Plc. Despite this return, a significant preference for hybrid work remains, with nearly half of respondents prioritising the flexibility of working from home when searching for a job. (Fortune)


The AI boom could make it harder for women to keep their jobs

AI could automate 7.8% of jobs held by women in high-income countries. Meanwhile, just 2.9% of men's jobs are at risk of automation, a new study finds. Women's work and spending have helped the economy maintain its steady growth for years  — but the unequal effects of future automation could threaten their economic power and influence. (Business Insider)


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Future of the Office

Want your employees back in the office? Start covering their commuting costs 

Hybrid workers say the number one perk that would motivate them to return to the office is their company covering their commuting expenses. With the average office worker spending $51 per day, including lunch, commuting, breakfast, and coffee, companies would do well to address these cost barriers. (CNBC)


Burnout crisis threatens U.S. workforce retention

More than half of American workers are experiencing burnout, with workplace stress and heavy workloads being cited as major contributors. Workers want companies to prioritise their overall well-being and offer resources to prevent burnout — but employer confidence in workplace wellbeing measures is on the decline, leading many to consider alternative job opportunities. (HR Grapevine)


AI & Automation

Winners and losers in the AI arms race

AI is set to define the future of work and automation — but while white-collar professionals stare down a turbulent job market and low wages, blue-collar jobs — particularly those involving skilled trades — are poised to remain secure. Experts say the winners of the AI revolution are the technicians, nurses, and plumbers who will maintain the new economy after the machines have taken over the office.  (Business Insider)


Workers see AI's potential for productivity gains, but adoption lags

A new survey finds that over 50% of workers believe generative AI has the potential to save them a full day’s worth of work per week. But while AI use may open new avenues for substantial productivity gains, widespread AI adoption remains distant, as 68% of workers say they lack sufficient AI knowledge to help them in the workplace. (HR Grapevine)



In case you missed it

Watch this special report on the emergence of fully automated "dark" factories, their influence on employment, and the potential for creating better-paying and more satisfying job opportunities:

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Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute financial, investment, legal or tax advice.

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