The vast majority of workers in the UK believe that their employer will no longer be competitive by 2020 as a result of new technology.

In a study of 1,000 workers conducted by digital experience consultancy Infomentum, half of workers said businesses have no option but to invest in new technology in order to keep up and stay competitive.

However, many workers believe businesses are just “jumping on the bandwagon” when it comes to tech, rather than strategically considering what will and will not work for their business in helping to achieve their goals.

Automation and flexibility

The report also found that employees are not just concerned about the competitiveness of businesses, but of their own positions. It suggests that workers also need to prepare for significant changes over the next four years, with 61% of those surveyed expecting their own professions to become increasingly automated by 2020.

Increased automation will lead to an increased workload, driven by mainstream use of flexible working technologies, further blurring the boundaries between work-life and home. Nearly 40% of respondents said they would like to be able to work flexibly outside of a traditional office environment, while 37% believe that their organisations will need to offer flexible working in order to stay competitive.

Home office (3)

But Infomentum’s research found that nearly two thirds of businesses still do not allow their workforce to work from home, with 10% considering flexible working to be nothing more than a form of skiving.

Vikram Setia, chief commercial officer at Infomentum, said: “As technological advancements reach a pace of near constant change, businesses must be more sensitive than ever to the way new technologies are affecting reputations and ultimately bottom lines. As we move towards 2020, this constant change is no longer something that businesses must prepare for, but rather a reality that all organisations must embrace. Businesses, employees and even governments will all be affected.

“Attempting to fight against this torrent of change is to try and fight the future itself. Improvements in technology, automation and efficiency are coming. The only thing we as businesses can do is embrace this fact and attempt to lead the change. The Beyond Digital report represents a first guiding step in that process, helping those organisations that are willing to change prepare themselves for the next five years of digital evolution.”