Microsoft finds workers are tired and overwhelmed but AI ready to assist

A Microsoft workplace study has uncovered how workers feel about artificial intelligence (AI), with almost two in three workers stating they don’t have enough time or energy to do their jobs.

The report compiled findings from 31,000 respondents from 31 countries as well as a deep dive into “trillions of aggregated productivity signals in Microsoft 365, along with labor market trends on LinkedIn”.

Microsoft’s 2023 Annual Work Trend Index, the fourth time the tech giant has conducted the poll, contains a lot of useful information on how professionals view their contemporary workplace, with just under half of those surveyed sharing a concern that AI will have an impact on their job security.

The report states 75% of workers now use AI in the workplace, with a feeling that the technology is a great tool at times of stress and high-intensity to allow them to concentrate on the imperative tasks. Of those who are already using AI, 78% are said to bring their own AI resources to work.

Workers overwhelmed and out of energy

The Work Trend Index presented a crucial finding that workers are feeling overwhelmed by information, 62% of workers indicated they spend too much time scanning emails and chats for information, as well as communicating and organizing instead of directly collaborating with others, and performing core duties. Two-thirds (66%) believe they do not have enough time and energy to carry out their job roles.

Alongside the AI-related announcements, there was information on new Microsoft 365 Copilot functionality (which is dependent on AI) and also the option to pay for early access to AI copilot features in Office.

Microsoft underlined three findings as key pieces of information: “digital debt costing us innovation”, “a new AI-employee alliance”, and “Every employee (requiring) AI aptitude”.

Image credit: Ideogram

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Graeme Hanna