In a report released today, Asana, Inc. a pioneering work management platform, presents its “State of AI at Work Report,” featuring insights from its Work Innovation Lab.
The report sheds light on the escalating role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the modern workplace, underscoring the transformative potential it holds for enhancing productivity and efficiency.
However, the report also highlights the necessity for comprehensive guidance to navigate this AI-driven landscape.
The report reveals that a significant 36 percent of employees in the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) are now incorporating AI into their work routines on a weekly basis.
This adoption trend reflects a growing recognition of AI’s strategic significance, with 55 percent of executives expecting their organisations to employ AI for goal-setting and an impressive 61 percent expressing confidence that AI will outperform conventional methods in driving their companies toward their objectives.
A strategic tool
One noteworthy finding is the enthusiastic embrace of AI by employees as a strategic tool. Over half (51%) of executives indicated their willingness to invest more for workplace tools enhanced by AI capabilities. The spectrum of AI’s applications at work is swiftly expanding, with 30 percent of employees employing AI for data analysis and 25 percent for administrative tasks.
Furthermore, a substantial 62 percent and 57 percent of employees are eager to leverage AI for data analysis and administrative tasks, respectively. Impressively, even in creative domains, AI’s potential is being recognised, as 45 percent of U.S. employees express interest in using AI for brainstorming, compared to 32 percent in the U.K.
How can we democratise AI?
The report advocates for democratising AI within organisations, as 60 percent of employees advocate for its wider accessibility across all roles and responsibilities. This call for inclusivity underscores the demand for user-friendly tools catering to various technical proficiencies and use cases. Surprisingly, the prospect of AI assessing employee performance garnered interest, particularly in the U.S., where 38 percent of employees welcomed the idea compared to 28 percent in the U.K. An intriguing revelation was that 15 percent of U.S. workers would entertain the notion of AI serving as their boss, nearly double the proportion in the U.K.
However, amidst this eagerness for AI integration, concerns emerge. Approximately 26 percent of workers fret about being perceived as indolent for utilising AI, while 20 percent admitted feeling fraudulent for relying on AI support – a sentiment more pronounced among U.K. workers.
Guidance and training is necessary
The report’s findings also illuminate a pressing need for comprehensive guidance and training. A mere 24 percent of companies currently offer policies or guidelines on AI usage at work, and only 17 percent of employees received training on incorporating AI into their daily tasks. The gap is particularly evident in the U.K., where a mere 13 percent of companies offer such training, compared to 23 percent in the U.S.
The report stresses the urgency of bridging these gaps, as 48 percent of employees desire more direction from their employers on effective AI utilisation. Additionally, 39 percent acknowledge that a lack of AI training influences their decision to join a company. Transparency about AI deployment also ranks high, with 59 percent of employees considering a company’s openness about AI usage a pivotal factor when evaluating potential employers.
Saket Srivastava, Chief Information Officer at Asana, emphasised the evolving landscape, stating, “We are moving into a new phase of AI’s role in our workplaces… Employees can’t navigate this AI shift alone. They need clear guidelines to understand AI’s role in their functions, along with tailored training and accessible technologies to fully harness AI’s capabilities. Organisations that get this right will leverage AI in a way that unlocks new levels of human ingenuity.”
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 the 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.