AI is nothing new, but generative AI— the latest technology demanding the attention of professionals worldwide— is disrupting the way teams work.
To get a better understanding of how AI is challenging the future of work, we surveyed 3,000 managers to learn how they’re implementing the new technology in their business.
Summary of Key Findings
- 66% of managers say they would gladly replace employees with AI tools if the work was comparable.
- 69% of managers say it would be financially beneficial to their business if they could replace employees with AI tools.
- 68% of managers say that AI tools will provide them an opportunity to lower salaries as less human-powered work will be needed.
- 90% of managers believe that AI tools will grow in popularity as layoffs continue during uncertain economic times.
- 93% of managers will encourage employees to use AI tools to improve performance at work.
- 75% of managers believe their employees fear that the implementation of AI tools will lead to their eventual firing.
- Managers say that cybersecurity is the biggest cause for concern as it relates to the use of AI tools in the workplace.
- Managers say that web development and computer programming jobs are most at risk of being replaced by AI tools.
Experience with AI & preparing for the future of work
AI isn’t one-size-fits all, and there’s no limitation to which industries can benefit from its technology. Companies are beginning to accept and adopt AI into their workflows to improve efficiency and increase output. In fact, 95% of those interviewed said that their teams have already started using AI tools, and have used AI-generated content for work-related assets.
To take advantage of the great AI boom, managers are taking the steps necessary to prepare for the onboarding of new tools. Out of the 3,000 managers surveyed, 34% are preparing for the adoption of AI tools by educating their employees, while 22% are self-testing AI tools that may be of use to their team. Incorporating AI in the workplace might look different for every business, but 97% of managers are already having those conversations with their internal teams.
What does the AI revolution mean for the future of work? It’s no secret that teams are beginning to explore the opportunities associated with AI. In reality, 90% of managers believe that generative AI tools will become more popular in the workplace as tech and other industries continue with massive layoffs.
The effect of AI on employee performance
AI tools are meant to help make human’s jobs easier by absorbing and automating some of the more tedious, repetitive tasks. The smart technology will oftentimes act as a collaborative partner, or assistant, to employees who are experts in their role. AI can help improve employee productivity and performance by expediting the brainstorming process, and giving employees a jumping off point so that they can create more content in less time. For example, software like Beautiful.ai helps to automate the presentation process and allows non-designers to create professional-grade decks.
The benefit of AI is not lost on managers. In fact, 93% say that they will encourage their employees to test and use AI tools if the tools will help them perform better at work.
AI can increase performance by allowing employees to create a first draft of a project in a fraction of the time, which they can then edit and customize to maintain brand integrity and quality. AI often pulls its information from various corners of the internet, and as a result the content needs to be checked to ensure it’s both factually correct and aligned with the company’s overall message. When asked if managers trust their employees more than AI tools to get work done at the highest level in a timely and efficient manner, 69% said they still value their employees' work while 20% remained indifferent.
AI concerns as managers adopt new softwares
Of course, like with any new technology, the adoption process comes with questions and concerns. It’s natural for managers to be curious about the ramifications of AI in their business. Things such as cost, employee resistance, the need to fire employees as a result of AI replacing their jobs, and a decline in employee engagement and productivity are all valid concerns. Out of all of the potential effects of AI in the workplace, cybersecurity was the biggest concern with nearly 75% of managers admitting that they are worried about the security of AI tools and potential privacy issues at work.
Despite managers’ apprehensions, AI companies aren’t blind to these concerns. As AI becomes increasingly popular among professionals, it’s very likely that we’ll see smart tools and softwares put in the necessary work to address and eliminate any lingering question marks or hesitations from consumers.
Employee fears and job security in the face of AI
Although quick and efficient, AI simply can’t compete with human’s creativity and originality. AI is intended to improve jobs, not replace them. But still, the question remains: should professionals be worried about their job security?
65% of managers believe that replacing employees with AI tools would be a good thing for their company so long as the work is comparable, while 19% disagreed and 16% felt neutral about the statement. The operative word being: comparable. While AI can produce good results, any content would still require manual revisions and improvements from an expert in the field to maintain creative integrity and ensure accuracy. Brand authenticity, legacy knowledge, and proprietary information are not things that can be easily replicated by a computer.
According to those surveyed, 40% believe that web development and computer programming are the most at risk of being replaced by AI, followed by sales, financial advisors or analysts, human resources, public relations or communications, administrative roles, graphic designers, and marketing. Of those managers, nearly 70% agree that it would be financially beneficial for their business if they were able to replace a large number of employees with AI tools.
With the rise of AI capabilities, it’s natural for professionals to fear what this all means for their careers. When asked if they believe their employees fear that AI programs will make them less valuable at work, the majority of managers agreed that they do. Similarly, 72% agree that their employees fear that AI programs will eventually lead to them being fired.
Still, generative AI is built to enhance users’ output and is far from being a system that can fully replace entire jobs and teams.
Teams save money by reallocating budget to AI programs
In light of the recession, companies are being more intentional with their budgets. Where teams once needed to add to their headcount to ensure certain tasks were being performed, softwares and technology have stepped in to help businesses reduce overhead costs. The survey revealed that when it comes to employees, the majority of managers believe that AI tools will provide an opportunity to lower salaries as less human-powered work is needed. It’s no surprise that AI programs have unlocked a more affordable way to be productive. As a result, department’s budgets may be allocated to investing in tools and softwares as opposed to new hires. With both skilled employees and AI tools working together, we can expect to see teams make the most of their budget for the greater good of the business.
On the same coin, an impressive 83% anticipate spending resources and budget on AI programs in 2023 to improve their team’s productivity.
In this survey we learned that AI is changing the way people work for the better. Managers are turning to AI to produce more content, in less time, without compromising quality and brand integrity. The adoption of the new technology means that many teams have started allocating more budget to AI programs that can help their employees be more productive and efficient in their roles.
As businesses continue to navigate the recession and hiring freezes, the majority of managers believe that their business could financially benefit from shifting their resources from employees to artificial intelligence. With a variety of new AI tools, managers agree that there may be an opportunity to hire less, while lowering salaries, to help avoid future layoffs.
Like with any new technology, there is a lot of uncertainty. While managers question the cybersecurity risks associated with AI, employees worry about job security and the probability of being replaced by new, smart software.
For more information on Beautiful.ai’s research or to request graphics or an interview about this study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All data found within this report is derived from a survey by Beautiful.ai conducted online via survey platform Pollfish from February 20-23, 2023. In total, 3,000 adult Americans in management positions were surveyed. The respondents were found via Pollfish’s organizational role and age filtering features. This survey was conducted over a three-day span, and all respondents were asked to answer all questions as truthfully as possible and to the best of their knowledge and abilities.