Asana has published the State of AI at Work Report. The short eight-page report is based on a survey of 4,546 knowledge workers in the United States and the United Kingdom in July 2023. The survey was conducted using Qualtrics via Prolific and was not focused on Asana users.
Artificial Intelligence is now widely used, with 36% of employees using AI weekly. However, only 4% use AI multiple times a day. There are concerns about its wider use, which may be hindering adoption. Only 32% of employees feel their company has been transparent about using AI.
The report covers how employees use AI, what the future holds and what organisations need to do to make AI more widely used.
Saket Srivastava, Chief Information Officer at Asana, commented, “We are moving into a new phase of AI’s role in our workplaces. Our study shows that more employees are now embracing AI at work. Employees see the potential of AI to save time and help them focus on more strategic tasks. However, there are clear obstacles, with some employees harboring concerns about how their AI use could be perceived by peers and managers.
“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. Organizations that get this right will leverage AI in a way that unlocks new levels of human ingenuity.”
What is in the State of AI at Work Report
The report is divided into four sections:
- AI is transforming the way we work
- Where AI unleashes potential—today and tomorrow
- How companies can build and evolve their AI strategy
- AI in the workplace: a call to action
Each section contains a brief analysis illustrated with the key data points and a few small supporting graphics. This is not an in-depth study around AI at work, but it does contain some useful insights.
The authors propose three strategies for delivering AI at work:
- Establish AI policies: With 92% of respondents concerned about AI being used unethically, this is important. Only 24% of companies currently have an AI policy
- Define AI Principles: Ensure they are aligned with corporate values
- Share your AI roadmap: Transparency is key to building trust.
These strategies may help overcome the existing barriers to AU usage. 26% feel they will be considered lazy if they use AI. Despite this, many feel AI will be useful for a variety of tasks:
- 62% of employees want to use AI for data analysis
- 57% of employees want to use AI for administrative tasks
Can AI take over management positions? Not yet, though 32% of employees would be open to AI assessing their performance at work. In the US, AI is more accepted. 15% of US workers are open to working for an AI. That figure falls to 8% in the UK. Generally, the survey identifies that US employees are more open to AI than UK employees.
The report also goes beyond the attitudes towards AI. It also identifies that 48% of employees want more guidance from their employers on how to use AI. Candidates will also assess company AI usage before joining. Considerations include transparency (59%), explainable usage (80%) and how democratised AI usage is (60%).
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
This report has some fascinating insights about workers’ attitudes towards AI. A qualitative study would have delved deeper into some of the insights, and this is a field of study for many academics and HR vendors at the moment,
One of the other findings is that not everyone understands what human-centred AI is, and where there is a lack of understanding, there is a greater risk of negative feelings towards AI. Organisations, therefore, risk a backlash without clear transparency and education about their AI usage.
Organisations must embrace AI to increase productivity and maintain competitive advantages. The report insightfully concludes, “Leaders need to lay the foundation for an AI-powered future where understanding, trust, and employee empowerment are central. The time is now to ensure a future where technology amplifies human potential.”
The short report is well worth a read.