21% of Irish workers are using AI to do their jobs

Microsoft’s latest Irish Work Trends Index reveal a growing appetite for using artificial intelligence among workers.

About one-fifth (21%) of Irish workers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to do their jobs.

According to the latest Microsoft Ireland Work Trends Index of those who do not currently use AI (67%), one quarter cite an interest in doing so.

“What is emerging is a clear desire from workers to stop thinking in tasks and to-dos and give greater weight to outcomes and impact”

The study claims workers struggled most with not having enough time to complete their work (55%), or enough focus time (49%).

More than one-third of workers (36%) feel they have too many meetings, and 42% say they spend too much time searching for the right data.

Work-life balance

Greater than three quarters (77%) highlighted they are happy at work, 66% feel they have the right work-life balance. Those struggling to disconnect from work reduced year-on-year from 31% in 2022, to 22% in 2023.

However, 54% of people feel that leadership is out of touch, and 45% feel burned out.

One in five (19%) working adults in Ireland changed employers in the last 12 months, compared to 14% in 2022.

A lack of confidence in leadership, well-being challenges, lack of professional recognition and work-life balance were the top drivers behind why workers changed roles in the last 12 months.

Hybrid culture challenge

When considering what workers prioritise at work, workplace culture is still deemed the most important for workers (67% in 2023, compared to 59% in 2022), followed by health and wellbeing (50%), and flexibility (44%).

Despite workplace culture being the biggest priority, more than half (51%) of hybrid workers felt their workplace culture has deteriorated since they began working remotely.

Hybrid workers also reported having fewer work friendships (55%), finding it more difficult to build trust (53%), and feeling lonelier at work (45%).

In other responses specific to hybrid workers, the number of participants who felt they were struggling to disconnect from work reduced year-on-year from 31% in 2022 to 22% in 2023, suggesting positive adjustments to remote working in the last 12 months.

However, this year, workers are finding it more difficult to stay motivated (29% in 2023, 26% in 2022) and feel it is harder to keep up with what’s happening in the organisation when working remotely (23% in 2023, compared to 18% in 2022), suggesting virtual communications and collaboration need to be improved.

“This year, the results have highlighted that we are still grappling with new ways of working and struggling to keep up with the pace of work,” said the general manager of Microsoft Ireland Anne Sheehan.

“While there is positive news that workers are feeling happy at work and have an improved work-life balance, there is a sense of a growing divide between the workforce and senior leaders, and a feeling of disconnection with their organisation’s culture – particularly among hybrid workers.

“What is emerging is a clear desire from workers to stop thinking in tasks and to-dos and give greater weight to outcomes and impact, while trimming time in meetings and finding more efficient ways to source information. This would help to drive productivity and reduce the risk of burnout.

“At Microsoft, we believe that through the adoption of new solutions such as AI, organisations can address the pressure points being highlighted by workers in Ireland and improve the cultural experience for leaders and employees across all sectors.”

Microsoft Work Trends Index
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