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10/1: Future of Work

October 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially changed the human workforce. Large multinational corporations have re-organized into mostly remote workforces essentially overnight. Small businesses and retail are having to re-organize to protect consumer and worker safety.

Will work-from-home continue to be the standard after the global pandemic ends? According to a July article from the Wall Street Journal, 86% of founders do not plan to return to pre-COVID-19 work-from-home policies. While working from home has benefits such as being more productive for workers and firms, better for the environment, time-saving on commute, and cheaper for companies to maintain facilities, it also presents challenges for workers such as lack of social interaction, longer hours, and issues with managing family and work life which are now more intricately connected.

Companies now have to consider the safety of their employees even more than they have in the past, and use technology to help workers collaborate. How can companies use the latest technologies to help the new workforce thrive? Low touch and voice enabled tech, autonomous cleaning solutions, spatial intelligence and people counting sensors, remote collaboration tools, mobile accessible communication & HR tools, touchless entry, cybersecurity & at home network security, and smart buildings may provide part of the solution for companies. Meanwhile, how can technology help companies understand how to make their employees happy, so that they can be most productive in reaching their potential?

The goal of the Innovation-X Roundtable series is to help industry adapt at this critical time. How can companies innovate to create the biggest impact for industry and society now and in the future? From these initial discussions, will emerge Discovery Projects, where we will leverage the resources of UC Berkeley faculty and students to create innovative solutions with Network members that guide the future of industry.

White paper from panelist Cristina G. Banks, PhD, Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Healthy Workplaces (HealthyWorkplaces)
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