In the rapidly evolving landscape of modern workplaces, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a dominant topic of conversation among UK office workers.

A recent survey conducted by instantprint, a leading printing company, has shed light on the sentiments and perspectives of employees regarding AI and its potential impact on their jobs.

The survey, which received responses from a diverse pool of participants, brought forth some intriguing findings. Among them, the most concerning revelation was that nearly one in three UK office workers, constituting 31 percent of the respondents, believed that AI would eventually replace most jobs in the future.

Such apprehensions signal a sense of panic among a significant portion of the workforce.

Are you familiar with AI?

The research demonstrated a commendable level of awareness among respondents, with a staggering 96 percent of them stating that they were familiar with the concept of AI. Only a mere 6 percent expressed intentions to incorporate AI in their work processes, indicating that there may still be some hesitancy in embracing AI technologies.

Unsurprisingly, among those who were already using AI in their workplaces, the younger generation seemed to be leading the charge. A substantial 71 percent of respondents who were actively utilising AI fell within the age group of 18 to 34. On the other hand, among those who admitted to not using AI, a significant 57 percent were aged 35 and above, hinting at a generational divide in AI adoption.

Gender disparities also emerged in the survey results. An astonishing 72 percent of respondents who reported using AI at work were male, while 68 percent of those who stated otherwise were female. This discrepancy may point towards potential biases or disparities in AI-related opportunities in the workplace.

Caution!

Despite the concerns and fears regarding AI’s impact on jobs, the survey indicated that there was a significant portion of workers, around 36 percent, who harbored a positive outlook for the future of AI. However, they emphasised the need for caution and ethical considerations in its implementation. Another 32 percent of respondents were enthusiastic about AI and viewed its future optimistically.

When it came to the applications of AI in the workplace, respondents cited various use cases. The top ways in which UK workers were leveraging AI included planning (25%), writing copy (25%), transcribing (19%), and utilising virtual assistants (17%). AI’s versatility was evident, with applications ranging from research and image generation to personalised shopping and fraud prevention.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that AI was not only assisting workers in their day-to-day tasks but also proving to be cost-effective and time-saving. Approximately 24 percent of respondents highlighted how AI tools were saving them money, while 21 percent acknowledged its time-saving capabilities.\

AI tools

The most popular AI tool among UK workers was Chat GPT, with an impressive 34 percent of respondents utilising this platform in their daily work. Other AI tools like Midjourney, Bard, Adobe Firefly, and Copy.ai also garnered significant usage.

Interestingly, the majority of workers seemed hesitant to allocate a substantial budget for AI tools. 28 percent of respondents set aside a monthly budget of £50-£100 for AI tools, while 17 percent relied solely on free AI platforms. This cautious approach towards spending on AI suggests that while the technology is being embraced, cost-effectiveness remains a top priority for most businesses.

Commenting on the findings, Jack McGlone, Technical Lead at instantprint, urged companies to tread cautiously while integrating AI into their operations. He emphasised the importance of ethical considerations, transparency, and human oversight to ensure that AI becomes a tool for progress and not a source of concern for employees’ job security.

While there are concerns about job displacement, there is also an eagerness to explore the potential benefits that AI can bring. As the world moves forward into an increasingly AI-driven future, the challenge lies in striking a balance between innovation, human well-being, and job security.

 

 

 

 

Avatar

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.