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British Workers Could Claw Back 390 Hours of Working Time Per Year With Artificial Intelligence

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Employees in the UK could save approximately 390 hours of working time per year with Artificial Intelligence (AI) – according to new data commissioned by people analytics company Visier. The data revealed that on average, of those employees already embracing AI in the workplace, Brits are saving 1.55 hours per day.  

Employers aren’t using AI to its full potential

The data however – which comes as the UK government races to build the regulation required to keep up with AI – reveals that in spite of these time savings, employers aren’t yet fully embracing AI’s potential to support productivity in the workplace, with more than half of employees (56%) stating that their employer is not encouraging the use of AI in the workplace.

With more than half of employees (53%) concerned about AI replacing the skills they currently have, it’s not surprising to see that more than two in three (67%) employees agree that developing AI skills is going to be important for their future career growth. And as employees plan for the future, we’re seeing that they expect their employers to take the lead on AI upskilling (52%). 

With opportunity, comes worry

But when we asked employees about skills development, we saw a big discrepancy between the skills employees rank in developing most highly, and their attitudes shown towards the importance of AI skills. Traditional skills such as soft skills (40%) and leadership skills (43%) were ranked as the most important skills to support career growth. Yet, hard skills such as  emerging technology (10%) were not ranked as highly as the development of traditional skills. 

This would suggest that whilst those employees already using AI understand it’ll be important to keep pace with the technology at work, there are still those who remain sceptical. More than one in three (36%) said that AI will add to stress at work, whilst 37% are concerned their accuracy will dip and 38% are worried about their data privacy. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s clear that a portion of the workforce are welcoming AI with open arms, with 40% in agreement that it will improve their work life balance, and 31% stating that they think it will help to close the skills gap in the UK workforce. 

“The UK government’s commitment to invest in artificial intelligence needs business buy-in to make a real impact. The workplace has been disrupted by rapid innovation and everyone has a role to play in its smooth adoption. With skills gaps widening across the UK, AI can alleviate a wide range of pain points. But, with opportunity comes responsibility,” said Ben Harris, Director UK MD at Visier. “Business leaders must ensure they are spotting gaps in employee skills, and training them on emerging technologies like, but not limited to, AI. By taking a skills-based view, organisations can rethink roles, and identify skills that can be combined with emerging technologies like AI to future-proof jobs, boost productivity and enhance performance. In a context of skills and labour shortages, combining AI with transferable skills will enable companies to fill gaps easily and stay competitive while minimising redundancies.”

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