Generative AI could save office workers an entire day’s worth of work per week

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A new survey of over 900 office workers in the UK, USA and Australia reveals that nearly half (47%) of respondents believe generative AI could save them a day’s worth of work per week1.

SnapLogic, building the future of integration with generative AI capabilities, commissioned the survey to understand how generative AI (gen-AI) is used and viewed within large enterprises.

Surprisingly, over a third of respondents (36%) said they are not currently using gen-AI for work at all. The larger their company, the less likely a respondent was to use gen-AI. 

However, 67% of respondents who currently use gen-AI for work say it already saves them 1-5 hours of work per week. 

Respondents believe gen-AI has considerable potential as a labour-saving tool. While 24% said gen-AI currently saves them 6-10 hours of work per week, this figure increased to 47% when asked how much time gen-AI could save them in future. 

Concerningly, skills still appear to be an issue. Over half the respondents (68%) said they don’t have enough of an understanding of gen-AI for their current role. Respondents were more likely to feel they lacked understanding if they were younger (vs older) or male (vs female). Over a third (38%) say they have not been given training in how to use gen-AI appropriately – suggesting that their current employer is not stepping up to the plate. 

Respondents were keen to remedy gaps in their skills base: 53% want to learn more about using gen-AI, and that’s not surprising, given that 81% believe using gen-AI or growing their understanding of gen-AI will be essential in progressing their career. 

The results also revealed some covert gen-AI usage that could pose ethical, legal or security problems for employers: 40% of respondents have used gen-AI for work without disclosing their usage to their employer or colleagues. A sneaky 22% said they have used gen-AI without disclosing it because they didn’t know the answer to something or how to do something and were too embarrassed to ask a human for help. 

Jeremiah Stone, Chief Technology Officer at SnapLogic, said: “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. There’s a lot of lost productivity, exacerbated by the fact that some people are likely using gen-AI incorrectly or in ways that could actually pose a risk to their employer.” 

Stone continued: “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.”  

About the survey

The research was conducted by Censuswide with 904 mid-level office workers working in enterprise-sized companies defined as 250+ employees across the UK, USA and Australia between 22.09.2023 - 27.09.2023. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.

1. A day’s worth of work defined as those who answered 6-10 hours of savings per week.

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