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Study Uncovers Worker Attitudes Toward the Time-Saving Potential of Generative AI


How much work can generative artificial intelligence (AI) save us? We know that it helps save some time by streamlining workflows, completing low-level tasks and freeing up humans to do more complex work, and handling simple (often manual) customer support queries. But how much does it save, exactly? After all, it doesn’t make sense to invest in new technology if you're unsure of the ROI. As the old saying goes, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Recently, generative AI technology company SnapLogic commissioned a survey to better understand how generative AI (stylized by SnapLogic as "gen-AI") is used and viewed within large enterprises, including perceptions about its much-debated benefits. The resulting study, which was based on a survey of over 900 office workers in the UK, United States and Australia, found that nearly half (47%) of respondents believe generative AI could save them an entire day’s worth of work per week.

One-third of respondents said they are not currently using generative AI for work at all, though. The larger their company, the less likely a respondent was to use generative AI. However, 67% of respondents who do currently use generative AI for work say it already saves them between one and five hours of work per week. (i.e. many respondents believe generative AI has considerable potential as a labor-saving tool.) While 24% said generative AI currently saves them six to 10 hours of work per week, this figure increased to 47% when asked how much time generative AI could save them in future.

The study also identified a disconnect between potential hours saved and current levels of skills employees have. 68% of respondents reported that they don’t have enough of an understanding of generative AI for their current role. Respondents were more likely to feel they lacked understanding if they were younger (versus older) or male (versus female). Over a third (38%) say they have not been given training in how to use gen-AI appropriately – suggesting that their current employer is not training them adequately.

“Mid-level workers are the backbone of many large companies; as they do the work and oversee other people’s work, their perspective on generative AI should become invaluable,” said Jeremiah Stone, Chief Technology Officer at SnapLogic. “We were honestly surprised to see the contrast between the number of people who recognize that generative AI can save a considerable amount of labor, compared to the number of people not currently using it at all. There’s a lot of lost productivity, exacerbated by the fact that some people are likely using gen-AI incorrectly or in ways that could actually pose a risk to their employer.”

Edited by Alex Passett
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