Future of Work Social Insights: UK, Germany High on Automation and Innovative Workplaces

by Joe Martin

posted on 06-23-2017

“Can you run a complex algorithm for me that will save me time and make my company more money?”

“Sure, Joe, I will get right on that.”

This might not be how we interact with artificial intelligence (AI) today, but it may not be far off. The future of work is a growing conversation with a 40% increase on social networks globally with Germans holding a slight edge at a 42% increase. Could the automation of more complex tasks be on the horizon?

Today, Adobe unveiled new social listening insights on the future of work, which we will discuss in Berlin on June 27 at Think Tank by Adobe: The Future of Work from Berlin.

“Those who want to understand and shape the future of work must deal with it in all its dimensions: technological, economic and social,” Lars Gaede, Wired journalist and Think Tank moderator, explained. “The Think Tank will do that. We want to highlight the topic from all relevant perspectives and take a close look at where and how they interact, intensify – and sometimes contradict.”

Today’s insights are a follow-up to a social report we released in February focused on global English speaking mentions, this time with additional regional insights focused on Germany and the United Kingdom (U.K.).

Our analyses looked at around four million English and German social mentions between January 2016 and May 2017 on the future of work and the technologies that will help define it. Social conversations are mostly focused around a few top topics for Germans and those in the U.K. including automation, people analytics (including working environments), and transportation.


The combination of robots and machine learning has energized those in the U.K and Germany. Nearly 50% of Germans were excited about the global digital transformation (27%) and the possibility of saving time with mundane tasks due to advancement in AI and automation (22%).

The U.K. is the most eager about the prospects of saving time (30%) and big data analysis (25%) improvements that automation can bring. They feel that automation will lead to jobs that are not yet thought of yet.

People Analytics

Along with automation, we examined people analytics—a company’s use of people-related data to improve all levels of its business including working environment, worker motivation, and stronger team collaboration.

71% of companies now consider people analytics a top priority per a recent Deloitte survey. It’s not going unnoticed. The daily conversations about people analytics have increased in the U.K., Germany, and globally over the last year (55%, 28%, and 20%, respectively). Positive net sentiment in Germany (0.56) and the U.K. (3.53) suggests workers are excited about the prospect of how companies use of data about its employees will improve working environments.

Conversations about future working environments have the highest sentiment in the U.K. (4.31 net sentiment) and the highest share of mentions in Germany, where it is known as “arbeitswelt” (26%). Workplaces focused on collaboration, improved management, and automation of tasks could be key to a smoother transition into the greater automation of complex tasks.


If you dream of a quick work commute via the Hyperloop or watching The Avengers in your back seat while being chauffeured in a self-driving car, you would fit right in with the Germans. In the land of automakers, transportation has the highest net sentiment of future of work topics (3.89 net sentiment). BMW topped German mentions of self-driving car manufacturers, beating out the global leader Tesla.

In the U.K., they’re just as positive about self-driving cars with a net sentiment 4x higher than conversations about the London Underground. Hyperloop and its extra fast speeds have the highest sentiment among future transport options discussed in the UK.

Robots and automation may become more incorporated into our daily lives, but it could also lead to a continued evolution of the information age. For now, AI may not take simple voice commands to immediately improve a business and increase revenue, but AI and machine learning platforms like Adobe Sensei will help to save time, which is music to the ears of those in Germany and the U.K.

Topics: Future of Work