84% of Aussies using AI in the Workplace

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By Published On: May 14, 20240 Comments

New research from Microsoft and LinkedIn’s annual Work Trend Index reveals that Australian workers are leading the global shift toward adopting generative AI in the workplace, but a further cultural shift is needed.

The Work Trend Index combines survey data from 31,000 knowledge workers and leaders across 31 countries, as well as trillions of productivity signals, telemetry data and LinkedIn jobs and labour data to show how AI is becoming more ubiquitous in the workplace. 

“2024 is the year AI at work becomes real,” said Lucy Debono, Modern Work Business Director, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand. “Organisations that apply AI to drive growth, manage costs, and deliver greater value to their customers will pull ahead. The data also shows that AI will play a major role in the labour market, with greater value placed on AI – both as a skillset and aptitude among job seekers, and for its ability to reshape workflows so employees can enjoy their work more.”

The global average for the adoption of generative AI in the workplace is 75 percent, however, Australian workers have quickly adapted to the new technology, with 84 percent using the technology at work. Despite the high usage, the researchers expressed the need for a further shift in attitude from the top down.

Confidence remains an issue. Australian leaders are more worried that their organisation lacks a plan and vision to implement it, with 70 percent of Australian leaders citing this concern, versus the global average of 60 percent. 

“Employees are driving uptake in generative AI across Australian workplaces,” said Sarah Carney, National Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand. “It’s imperative that business leaders engage more and bridge the disconnect by providing clarity to employees on how to use AI in responsible ways that adhere to their organisations’ security and privacy requirements.”

Three quarters of Australian business leaders say they would not hire someone without AI skills. LinkedIn and Microsoft have found that companies aren’t supporting this upskilling, with only 39 percent of LinkedIn users, globally, having received AI training from their company. The researchers conclude that a majority of professionals are skilling up on AI usage on their own.

“Leaders have made their land grab for technical AI talent – with hiring up 323% globally in the last eight years,” said Matt Tindale, Managing Director, LinkedIn Australia and New Zealand. “Now they’re turning their sights to non-technical talent with AI-aptitude. While leaders recognise the value of bringing on new employees with these skills, they’re missing the value of developing their own people by investing in AI tools or products for their teams and implementing training that’s specific to their industry and employees’ job functions. Leaders need to build for agility instead of stability and invest in skill building internally that will give their organisations a competitive advantage and create more efficient, engaged and equitable teams.

With the risk of falling behind the rest of the world, the researchers expressed their concern over the lack of culture around AI experimentation and training. “Shifting from experimentation phase to drive breakthrough return on investment requires organisations to foster a growth mindset, for leadership to lean in, and to facilitate knowledge transfer so all employees can feel empowered to use generative AI to deliver work that is more fulfilling and impactful,” said Lucy Debono, Modern Work Business Director, Microsoft Australia and New Zealand.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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