Workplace AI usage is rocketing, but are people using it for the right things?

Two thirds of people now use AI at work, with44 percent of office workers saying they are 'enthusiastic 'about using workplace AI in their daily tasksThe latest Workforce Index from Slack claims there has been a significant rise in AI usage in UK workplaces. Since September 2023, there’s been a 66 percent increase, with an additional 18 percent jump since the beginning of 2024. This trend reflects growing enthusiasm among employees about the technology, with 44 percent of office workers saying they are ‘enthusiastic ‘about using workplace AI in their daily tasks. However, the survey also uncovers potential problems with wider AI acceptance. Many employees may not have the right training to fully benefit from AI’s potential.  Instead of using the time saved by AI for strategic activities or skill development, most workers say they plan to prioritise administrative tasks.

Trust also seems to be an issue. A significant portion of UK desk workers (94 percent) don’t fully trust workplace AI outputs for work-related tasks. The report says this highlights the need for employers to address training gaps and build trust in AI among their workforce to maximize its benefits.


The Slack survey claims:

Desk workers suffer from busywork and burnout

UK employees are feeling the grind and report spending large chunks of their day on mundane tasks.

  • Most desk workers (64 percent) experience burnout once a month or more.
  • 31 percent of workers do not feel passion for their job.
  • People spend a third of their day on tasks that are “not meaningful to their job,” such as unnecessary meetings, low-value emails, and excessive paperwork or data entry.


AI excitement and adoption is on the rise

Workers are embracing AI more all the time and increasingly excited about using it in their daily work.

  • AI use among UK desk workers is up 18 percent since January and 66 percent since September.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of UK desk workers express enthusiasm about AI handling tasks from their job.


Despite AI’s promise to reduce busywork, workers continue to prioritise admin over high-value work 

When asked how workers plan to spend their time saved by AI, the answer wasn’t promising.

  • The #1 activity workers expect to prioritise with the time saved by AI is administrative tasks.
  • High-value, professional development tasks like innovating, creating and networking with colleagues sat further down on the list.
  • However, 85 percent of those using AI still say they are seeing productivity gains.


Trust and knowledge gaps hold workers back from fully leveraging AI 

UK workers are excited about AI but don’t yet trust it to take over tasks at work.

  • 94 percent of desk workers do not consider AI outputs completely trustworthy for work-related tasks.
  • Only 12 percent of workers strongly agree that they have the education and training necessary to use AI effectively.


Businesses must empower their workforce to use AI effectively 

For workers to trust and delegate tasks to AI, companies must train their workforce on how to get the most out of it.

  • Guidance: Desk workers at companies that have established permissions for AI use are over 6x more likely to have experimented with AI tools.
  • Training: Those who are trained to use AI are nearly 5x times more likely to report that AI is improving their productivity.