In a recent survey conducted by SnapLogic, it was found that generative AI (gen-AI) could potentially save office workers in the UK, USA, and Australia up to a day’s worth of work each week. The survey, which included over 900 office workers, aimed to gauge the current use and perception of gen-AI within large enterprises.

Despite the promising potential of gen-AI as a labor-saving tool, a significant portion of the workforce appears to be underutilizing it. The survey revealed that 36% of respondents are not using gen-AI for work purposes. This trend is more pronounced in larger companies, where employees are less likely to engage with gen-AI technologies.

Among those who do use gen-AI, the benefits are notable. Approximately 67% of current gen-AI users reported saving between 1-5 hours of work per week. This figure rises dramatically when considering the future potential of gen-AI, with 47% of respondents believing that it could save them 6-10 hours of work per week.

However, the survey highlighted a significant gap in skills and understanding related to gen-AI. A majority of respondents (68%) admitted to lacking sufficient understanding of gen-AI for their roles. This lack of understanding is more prevalent among younger and male employees. Furthermore, 38% of respondents indicated that they have not received appropriate training in using gen-AI, pointing to a potential oversight by employers in preparing their workforce for these emerging technologies.

Despite these challenges, there is a strong desire among workers to bridge the knowledge gap. Over half of the respondents (53%) expressed an interest in learning more about gen-AI, recognizing its importance for career advancement. A notable 81% believe that proficiency in gen-AI or an increased understanding of it will be crucial for their career progression.

The survey also uncovered instances of covert gen-AI usage in the workplace, which could lead to ethical, legal, or security issues for employers. Around 40% of respondents admitted to using gen-AI for work without informing their employer or colleagues. Additionally, 22% have used gen-AI secretly, often due to embarrassment about not knowing an answer or how to perform a task.

Jeremiah Stone, Chief Technology Officer at SnapLogic, commented on the findings, noting the contrast between the recognition of gen-AI’s labor-saving potential and the actual usage rates. Stone highlighted the productivity losses due to underutilization and potential risks associated with improper or undisclosed use of gen-AI. He emphasized the need for workplace adoption of gen-AI to be managed more effectively, advocating for staff training, clear guidelines, and sensible guardrails to ensure safe and beneficial experimentation with gen-AI technologies.

Stone’s remarks underline the importance of a structured approach to integrating gen-AI in the workplace, ensuring that employees are well-equipped to leverage these technologies effectively and responsibly.

Read more about the SnapLogic generative AI survey.