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New Slack study shows increasing use of artificial intelligence at work

TECHNOLOGYNew Slack study shows increasing use of artificial intelligence at work

According to the latest research conducted by Slack, a company owned by Salesforce, the use of AI tools at the workplace has increased by as much as 24% in the last quarter. The study also shows the average time office workers spend on burdensome and routine tasks of low business value.

Key findings from the study:

– The use of artificial intelligence in the workplace increased by 24% last quarter, and 1 in 4 office workers reported that they tried artificial intelligence tools for work in January 2024, versus 1 in 5 in September 2023.

– About 80% of people using artificial intelligence claim that this technology improves their productivity. Despite this, office workers’ opinions remain mixed – 42% of them claim they are excited about the possibility of using artificial intelligence and automation to handle tasks in their current job, 31% are neutral, and 27% are concerned about using AI.

– Almost every member of the executive staff feels pressure to integrate AI tools into their organization, with half of all executive staff members stating a high priority on implementing AI tools.

– Office workers in companies that have issued guidelines on how to use artificial intelligence are almost six times more likely to experiment with AI tools, compared to office workers whose companies have no AI use guidelines.

– Office workers report spending 41% of their time on tasks that are “low value, repetitive, or do not make a significant contribution to their core professional activities.” This indicates a clear chance for artificial intelligence tools and automation to help office workers redirect their energy away from “working on work” and towards more valuable actions.

How do office workers view AI and who uses it?

Slack’s latest study – conducted among more than 10,000 office workers worldwide – showed that the adoption of AI tools in the workplace accelerated by 24% compared with the previous quarter. Among those who used artificial intelligence and work automation tools, about 80% claim this technology is already improving their productivity. However, feelings about AI among the workforce are mixed, with a proportion expressing excitement, neutrality, or concern about its use.

Impressively, 81% of executives feel an urgent need to incorporate generative artificial intelligence into their organizations. Yet almost half of all respondents claim they have received no guidance from their leaders or organizations about using AI tools at work.

The absence of instructions could deter staff from experimenting with artificial intelligence. Interestingly, employees in companies that have defined AI guidelines are almost six times more likely to try AI tools, even if those guidelines restrict the use of AI.

The most significant benefits that executive staff expect from integrating artificial intelligence with business operations are:

– Increased employee efficiency and productivity (38%)
– Decision-making based on data (35%)
– Product and service innovation (34%)
– Cost reduction (33%)
– Greater focus on strategy versus routine tasks (27%)
– Improved customer experiences (18%)

However, two worries stand out: data security and privacy, and then trust in the accuracy and reliability of AI results.

The biggest concerns about incorporating artificial intelligence into business operations are:

– Data security and privacy (44%)
– Reliability and accuracy of AI (36%)
– Lack of specialized knowledge and skills among employees (25%)
– Ethical and compliance issues (17%)
– Trust and customer acceptance (17%)
– Implementation and maintenance costs (16%)

Office workers report spending 41% of their work time on tasks of “low value, repetitive, or meaningless in relation to their core job functions”. The more time office workers spend on ‘low-value work’, the more excited they typically are about the potential of using AI and automation in daily office duties. This could unlock employee potential and have huge impacts on worker motivation and job satisfaction.

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