NEWS28 February 2024

Rise in workplace use of AI, finds Slack

AI Asia Pacific Europe News North America Technology UK

US – Use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace increased by 24% in the last quarter of 2023, according to a study of desk workers by workplace communication platform Slack.

woman working on a laptop in a board room

In a survey of over 10,000 desk workers across five countries, one in four participants reported that they have tried AI tools for work as of January 2024, compared with one in five as of September 2023.

The research from the Workforce Lab from Slack, which is owned by Salesforce, surveyed 10,281 workers in the US, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the UK between 10-29 January 2024. The survey was administered by Qualtrics and did not target Slack or Salesforce employees or customers.

Of those survey respondents who have used AI and automation tools for work, around 80% claimed that this technology is improving their productivity.

The top tasks where desk workers saw the most value from AI were writing assistance, automating workflows and summarising content, according to the survey.

Of those in executive positions surveyed for the report, the top benefit that they anticipate from integrating AI into business is ‘increased efficiency and productivity of employees’ ( 38% of respondents) followed by ‘data-driven decision-making’ ( 35%).

The top concern for executives about incorporating AI was data security and privacy – cited by 44% of respondents.

In other findings from the research, workers reported spending 41% of their time on tasks that they perceive as “low value, repetitive or lack meaningful contribution to their core job functions”.

Additionally, 43% of respondents report that they have received no guidance from their leaders or organisation on how to use AI tools in their work.

Christina Janzer, senior vice-president of research and analytics at Slack and head of Slack’s Workforce Lab, said: “The data indicates that failing to provide guidance or instruction on AI may be inhibiting your employees from giving it a try. If you’re looking to ready your workforce for the AI revolution, you can start by providing guidelines for how AI can be used at work.”

Respondents to the survey were defined as employed full-time ( 30 or more hours per week) and either having one of the roles listed below or saying they “work with data, analyse information or think creatively”: executive management (eg president/partner, CEO, CFO, C-suite), senior management (eg executive VP, senior VP), middle management (eg department/group manager, VP), junior management (eg manager, team leader), senior staff (ie non-management), skilled office worker (eg analyst, graphic designer).