Corporate CultureHuman Resources and Workforce

UK Employees Turn to AI Seeking Better Work-Life Balance

Almost the majority of British employees are using generative artificial intelligence (AI) in order to provide more free time away from work, research shows. The technology was widely available just less than a week ago.

AI is known for its efficiency in minimizing time and effort by reducing repetitive and time-consuming tasks, which greatly enhances overall employee productivity. According to a survey of 2,002 UK employees in office-based and remote roles by Accenture that was conducted between August 29 and September 1, these AI chat bots have boosted productivity. Based on the survey, AI now also helps in promoting work-life balance, despite its benefits in providing efficiency.

30% of the employees are said to have a need to spend their freed-up time to increase their focus on life outside work, according to the report. The survey results came during an increasing number of mental health issues in the UK, which has cost companies an estimated £6.9 billion (RM39.8 billion) in working days lost due to the long-term illness.

“There will continue to be a strong appetite for AI from office workers, with many exploring it as an opportunity to find greater overall satisfaction in their working lives,” said Emma Kendrew, technology lead for Accenture UK.

Over a quarter of surveyed workers said AI is clearing up their schedules for more quality work. AI is most popular with tasks like administrative and operational processes and data analysis, according to the Accenture report. This mirrors separate research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that found AI drives up productivity, but those benefits are limited to writing or administrative tasks.

The research also flags a growing generational gap when it comes to AI in the workplace. Only 22% of those aged 55 and over are using the technology at least once a week, almost three times fewer than those aged 18 to 24. —Bloomberg

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