A recent study commissioned by people analytics company Visier has shed light on the potential time-saving benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for employees in the UK.

The data indicates that by embracing AI in the workplace, British workers can save an average of 1.55 hours per day, totalling approximately 390 hours per year.

However, the study also reveals that despite the significant time-saving potential, employers in the UK have yet to fully embrace AI’s capabilities in boosting productivity.

Surprisingly, more than half of the employees surveyed (56%) reported that their employers are not actively encouraging the use of AI in the workplace.

These findings come at a time when the UK government is racing to develop the necessary regulations to keep pace with the rapid advancements in AI technology. With 53 percent of employees expressing concerns about AI replacing their current skills, it is not surprising that 67 percent of respondents agree that developing AI skills will be crucial for their future career growth. Additionally, more than half of the employees (52%) expect their employers to take the lead in providing AI upskilling opportunities.

Will our own skills need to adapt?

However, a significant discrepancy was observed between the skills employees deem important for career growth and their attitudes towards the significance of AI skills. Traditional skills such as soft skills (40%) and leadership skills (43%) ranked higher in importance, while hard skills like emerging technology (10%) were not given the same level of priority.

This indicates that while employees who already utilize AI recognize the importance of keeping pace with technology, there is still a skeptical segment. Approximately 36 percent of respondents expressed concerns that AI would add to work-related stress, while 37 percent worried about a potential decline in accuracy, and 38 percent expressed concerns about data privacy.

Despite these concerns, the study also revealed a positive sentiment among a significant portion of the workforce. Around 40 percent of respondents believe that AI will improve their work-life balance, and 31% are optimistic that it will help close the skills gap within the UK workforce.

As the benefits and challenges of AI in the workplace continue to unfold, it is evident that employees recognize the need for upskilling and expect their employers to provide the necessary support. With AI poised to shape the future of work, it is crucial for employers to capitalize on its potential while addressing the concerns and anxieties of their workforce.

Ben Harris, Director UK MD at Visier, says:

“The UK government’s commitment to invest in artificial intelligence needs business buy-in to make a real impact. The workplace has been disrupted by rapid innovation and everyone has a role to play in its smooth adoption. With skills gaps widening across the UK, AI can alleviate a wide range of pain points. But, with opportunity comes responsibility,”

“Business leaders must ensure they are spotting gaps in employee skills, and training them on emerging technologies like, but not limited to, AI. By taking a skills-based view, organisations can rethink roles, and identify skills that can be combined with emerging technologies like AI to future-proof jobs, boost productivity and enhance performance. In a context of skills and labour shortages, combining AI with transferable skills will enable companies to fill gaps easily and stay competitive while minimising redundancies.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.