Artificial Intelligence (AI) is exerting a significant influence on workplace dynamics today, reshaping the future of work. A new study by UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions for all people examines just how closely AI has become entwined in the work lives of employees and employers. Conducted across 09 countries, including India, the study surveyed more than 4,000 employees, to understand their perspectives on the evolving role of AI.
In India, the study reveals that 72% of employees personally encounter AI powered workplace tools, systems, and processes in their organizations, and use generative AI tools such as Chat GPT (75%), Open AI (47%) and Google Bard (22%) for their jobs and in their personal lives.
Workers and AI: A Welcome Addition to the Employment Mix
With AI seamlessly integrating into various industries, that the vast majority (95%) of employees in India agree that AI in the workplace can improve their quality of life. According to the report, employees have benefited more (52%) from the usage of AI than companies (49%), so far.
96% of employees (51% very, 45% somewhat) in India are optimistic about the evolution of AI in the workplace, perceiving it as a positive enabler that increases their:
– Efficiency and productivity – 90% (50% significantly, 40% slightly);
– Quality and accuracy of work – 89% (46% significantly, 43% slightly);
– Job satisfaction – 88% (40% significantly, 48% slightly); and
– Overall happiness – 82% (39% significantly, 43% slightly).
Organizations and AI: Are Employees in the Know?
According to the study, 73% employees in India report that their organizations employ AI in the workplace, but only 47% employees completely and 44% employees somewhat understand how it’s used.
Commenting on this, Sumeet Doshi, Country Manager at UKG India, said “There is a clear appetite for AI in the workplace as long as employees better understand how it’s used and the benefits. Employees in India rise to the top of that sentiment with 88% wanting to be more accepting of AI while expecting their organisation to be more transparent around use of AI. AI can be effectively leveraged to positively improve organizations from recruitment to the day-to-day operations. One of the examples is deploying AI to identify cases of bias at work like sweetheart scheduling, which otherwise could have gone undetected. There are many more use cases around establishing pro-active controls for compliance, facilitate a flexible work-time arrangement that balances productivity with meeting employee expectations etc. All this is not just good for business but also leads to happier outcomes for all.”
AI: The Behind-the-Scenes Maestro Orchestrating Workplace Symphony
In India, 91% employees trust, to some degree, the content generated by AI tools, and 93% employees have embraced the help of AI in creating original content, making the growing influence of AI on key organizational operations undeniable.
The intervention of AI in management and decision-making processes is actually welcomed by Indian employees with:
– 92% of employees accepting the role of AI in assisting managers to create employee schedules;
– 89% of employees believe that AI should help companies detect future risks and increase operational resiliency;
– 86% of employees embrace the help of AI in augmenting executive decisionmaking; and
– 71% of employees say that they would rather have their performance be evaluated by AI instead of their managers.
Ashok Saxena, VP Engineering at UKG India, noted that “Although UKG has woven AI into our products for years, the world of work as a whole has barely scratched the surface when it comes to unlocking and utilizing the full potential of Artificial Intelligence in augmenting and streamlining workplace operations. However, a cautious approach is understandable, as highlighted by the study which reveals that 85% of Indian organizations are adopting AI cautiously. There are valid concerns around data privacy and ethical use. As a provider of AI solutions for the workplace, these concerns are extremely important for us. Hence, we have established a well-documented policy around ethical use of AI, thereby ensuring that we are not only legally compliant but also morally astute.”
AI is Key to Unlocking the Future Workplace
As 62% of employees in India believe AI skills will matter more than work experience in the next two years for either finding a new job or keeping their current job, it has become crucial for them to acquaint and familiarize themselves with the workings of AI.
Be it in terms of compensation or working hours, employees skilled at using AI believe that they have a significant competitive edge over their peers who are not as familiar with AI.
– 90% of employees (41% strongly agree, and 49% agree) feel that they deserve higher pay if they are skilled at using AI for their job.
– 76 % of employees (28% strongly agree, and 48% agree) want shorter work-days and work-weeks if they are using AI to automate some of their tasks.
On a global scale, executives at companies using AI today estimate that 70% of their total workforce will use AI to automate or augment some of their job tasks by 2028, according to the UKG study. Even executives at companies not using AI today estimate that 20% of their workforce will use AI to automate or augment some of their job tasks within the next five years.