Published: 18th January 2018
Smart, tech-driven and informal: What tomorrow's workspaces will look like?
C Velan, CEO and MD of Tata Realty and Infrastructure who chaired the session, started the discussion by pointing out the important dimensions of the future workspace
As jobs across the board are getting automated and machines are getting more intelligent, tech disruption or technological advancement can be a cause of worry. With Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning (ML) becoming a reality, the pertinent question here is how we can cope with this rapid change. On day two of The New Indian Express' ThinkEdu Conclave, some of the best minds from the tech world spoke as part of a panel discussion on 'Preparing for the workplace of tomorrow'.
C Velan, CEO and MD of Tata Realty and Infrastructure who chaired the session, started the discussion by pointing out the four dimensions of the future workspace which include physical and infrastructural buildup, resources and skill set requirement, innovations as a catalyst and, most importantly, an informal way of working. "In the past one and half years, service sectors like IT and BFSI and even education are advancing technologically. In the future, the transformation that we are going to see will be a shrinking workspace and increased skill sets" he said.
Through dependence on 3D printing, core making and moulding have become irrelevant. Even though there will be a reduction of people there will be a higher number of skilled people
Rama Kirloskar, Managing Director of Kirloskar Ebara
Talking about the digital transformation at his office, Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head - TCS iON said," Workplaces now are asking the question 'Is the work going to be done by humans or should we give first right to a machine in order to meet the burgeoning customer demand?' And for productivity gain, it is not feasible to deliver it through human hands."
The prioritisation of whether we use a thousand hands for one job or one machine for a thousand jobs is where the present education system needs to focus on in order for the students be as optimal as possible. Another key aspect that he highlighted is for preparing students to think productively in an informal setting as future workspaces are increasingly becoming non-hierarchical, "The workplace of the future will be informal for generating large and impactful ideas rather than a very structured way of formal discussion," he said.
An inclusive workplace is something that we stand by. A workplace is a place where you come to learn. It has values that it espouses and these values are what the employees will practice in their lives
Parmesh Shahani, Head of Godrej India Cultural Lab
Rama Kirloskar, Managing Director of Kirloskar Ebara Pumps spoke about how tech is driving change in the manufacturing sector. Quoting the example of 3D printing, she said that this technology can help cleanse the traditional foundry processes by reducing wastage of resources, "Through dependence on 3D printing, core making and moulding have become irrelevant. Even though there will be a reduction of people there will be a higher number of skilled people," she said.
Dhruv Galgotia, CEO of Galgotias University, spoke about how Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Big Data can help transform the face of education. " To succeed in a new and disruptive economy, quality education must become a life-long quest and for that we need to adapt to the changes of today. The workplace of tomorrow will see a dramatic change and if universities do not acknowledge these changes now, they will soon perish, " he said.
Parmesh Shahani, Head of Godrej India Cultural Lab, on the other hand, spoke about how a workspace where employee satisfaction was paramount was the need of the hour, "An inclusive workplace is something that we stand by. A workplace is a place where you come to learn. It has values that it espouses and these values are what the employees will practice in their lives," he said.