75% of Workers Are Using AI

Artificial intelligence is settling in as a “go-to” workplace digital tool.

A new report from Microsoft and LinkedIn shows that the use of artificial intelligence in the workplace doubled between November 2023 and April 2024.

The study, titled “AI at Work,” canvassed 31,000 workers across 31 countries and said 75% of workers tracked are using AI. The data also showed that LinkedIn sees a “significant increase” in professionals adding AI skills to their profiles and that “most employers” refuse to hire someone lacking AI skills.

The study stated that company leaders have reached the difficult phase of massive technology—moving from experimentation to tangible business impact.

“AI is democratizing expertise across the workforce,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Our latest research highlights the opportunity for every organization to apply this technology to drive better decision-making, collaboration — and ultimately business outcomes.”

Mixed Results and Power Users

Here are three more big takeaways from the study:

Mixed results on AI deployments. Workers say the most significant benefits of using AI on the job include saving time, increasing creativity, and having the freedom to focus on the work they like.

On the downside, while 79% of corporate leaders agree AI adoption is a big priority, 59% are concerned about measuring the productivity gains of AI, and 60% believe their company lacks a vision for AI and a plan to deploy it.

Consequently, workers are taking matters up themselves, with 78% of AI users bringing their tools to work — a trend the study calls Bring Your Own AI (BYOAI). That’s a mistake, the report noted, as doing so makes staffers lose out on the advantages “that come from strategic AI use at scale,” it also places company data at risk from lax data security practices.

Busting through the career ceiling. The study cited a “massive opportunity” for career-minded individuals as a “hidden talent shortage” has made AI-skilled employees increasingly valuable.

“A majority of leaders (55%) are concerned about having enough talent to fill roles this year with leaders in cybersecurity, engineering, and creative design feeling the pinch most,” the report stated. Yet while 66% of managers say they “wouldn’t hire someone without AI skills,” just 39% of staffers have received AI training from their company, “and only 25% of companies expect to offer it this year.”

That scenario leaves team members on their own, but to their credit, they’re owning their AI upskilling need, with a 142% upward spike in LinkedIn members adding AI skills like Copilot and ChatGPT to their profiles in the past year.

“In a world where AI mentions in LinkedIn job posts drive a 17% bump in application growth, it’s a two-way street,” the report stated. “Organizations that empower employees with AI tools and training will attract the best talent, and professionals who skill up will have the edge.”

Heralding the age of the AI “power user.” The study ranks workers in different AI-using categories, from “skeptics” to “power users.”

“Compared to skeptics, AI power users have reoriented their workdays in fundamental ways, reimagining business processes and saving over 30 minutes per day,” the study added. “Over 90% of power users say AI makes their overwhelming workload more manageable and their work more enjoyable, but they aren’t doing it alone.”

Power users are also likelier to act on C-suite executives urging them to use AI. That’s partly to curry favor from management and develop AI skills staffers can take with them to their next job up the career ladder.

Time for a New Playbook

Industry leaders say the best AI results come when senior executives and employees are on the same page.

“AI is redefining work, and it’s clear we need new playbooks,” said Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn. “It’s the leaders who build for agility instead of stability and invest in skill building internally that will give their organizations a competitive advantage and create more efficient, engaged, and equitable teams.”

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