On the 13th May 2019, senior Corporate Social Responsibility professionals gathered at Barclays in Canary Wharf for a thought-provoking GivingForum on the topic of: Managing Social impact in a Changing Workplace.
To begin with, Ejaz, the CEO of GivingForce, warmly welcomed everyone to the event, shortly followed by welcoming remarks from Kinga Lodge, from Barclays. Then followed lively presentations and audience feedback sessions on key topics.
Presentation 1 – Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the wellness agenda
David Biden, from Human+, launched the discussion through a stimulating presentation which introduced the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the 4 day working week and the wellness agenda. David walked us through the basics of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), showing us real life examples of the impact of RPA on day to day tasks at work. David was very good at humanizing the topic of AI, and in the course of his talk, dispelling common false perceptions of robots taking over our jobs. We had discussions around the benefit of RPA in the workplace, such as minimizing human risk, work consistency and reducing the amount of time spent on mundane data entry/validation tasks.
Conversations naturally progressed to the value of RPA in allowing more time to be spent on activities that necessary could not be automated, such as volunteering and personal development. As a result, RPA could help us achieve ideas of 4 day working week, as well as free up the 5th day to dedicate to other activities that would benefit employees and wider society.
Presentation 2 – The 4 day working week
Alistair Bance of B Strategy then gave a presentation about the 4 day week. Using the real life example of B Strategy’s time spent at the GivingForce offices and how for a 9 week period Friday was used as a day to encourage the GivingForce team to look at the business as a whole and create an agile work environment for the futures. The effects of it on both employee morale and productivity were incredible, and created a synergy for the business to move forward in a more efficient and streamlined way.