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Gen-AI could save office workers a day's labour per week, study finds
Mon, 6th Nov 2023

A new study has uncovered how generative AI (gen-AI) could potentially save office workers a significant portion of their regular working hours. The survey polled more than 900 workers from the UK, USA, and Australia, revealing that nearly half of them (47%) are confident that gen-AI could save them an entire day's work per week. The survey was commissioned by SnapLogic, a company at the forefront of integrating gen-AI functionalities.

Interestingly, over a third (36%) of respondents confessed they are not currently using gen-AI in their work at all. This pattern was especially prevalent among workers from larger companies. However, of the employees who are utilising this technology, a substantial 67% attested that gen-AI already saves them anywhere from 1 to 5 hours of work per week. When asked about the future, this percentage rose significantly, with 47% of respondents expressing hope that gen-AI has the potential to save them from 6 to 10 hours of work per week.

Despite this potential for time-saving, the survey pointed out a critical issue with gen-AI: many workers lack the necessary understanding of the technology. This was particularly evident among younger and male respondents. A worrying 68% of surveyed workers confessed that they lack a proper understanding of gen-AI for their current roles. Additionally, over a third (38%) mentioned that they have not been provided with adequate training to use gen-AI effectively.

However, employees seem keen to rectify this situation; 53% expressed their desire to learn more about using gen-AI. This curiosity is hardly surprising, considering that 81% believe that understanding or using gen-AI is vital for career advancement.

The survey also highlighted some potential concerns for employers. Of note, 40% of respondents shared that they have used gen-AI for work tasks without disclosing such usage to their employers or colleagues. An additional 22% admitted to using gen-AI covertly, most often when they didn't know how to do something or were too embarrassed to ask a human coworker for help.

Jeremiah Stone, Chief Technology Officer at SnapLogic, commented on the study, saying: "Mid-level workers are the backbone of many large companies, and as they both do the work and oversee other people's work, their perspective on generative AI is invaluable."

"We were honestly surprised to see the contrast between the number of people who recognise that generative AI can save a considerable amount of labour, compared to the number of people not currently using it at all."

Stone also notes: "Workplace adoption of generative AI is a bit of a Wild West scenario, but it doesn't need to be this way. Staff training, clear guidance and sensible guardrails allow employees to experiment in a safe environment, and in our experience, this is when employees can really discover what's possible with gen-AI."