Here’s what businesses actually think about Microsoft Copilot

young workers being productive in an office meeting
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff)

When it comes to the expected benefits of using AI assistants such as Microsoft Copilot, enhancing productivity, unleashing creativity and saving time were all set out as the most important.

But as users have now had access to Microsoft's virtual assistant for several months, the company has looked to review initial feedback and see if Copilot has lived up to the hype.

Perhaps unsurprisingly (given the results were announced at Microsoft's Ignite event today) while many workers said they were skeptical about how useful Copilot would be, the statistics show that over three quarters (77%) of early users would not want to give up using the AI tool.

Copilot in the workplace - time well spent?

For enhancing productivity at work, 70% of users said they had seen a noticeable improvement in overall productivity with 86% saying that Copilot made it easier to catch up on things they’d missed. Creativity also saw a huge improvement, with 72% of users saying that Copilot helped to generate ideas while writing.

The average amount of time saved per day through using Copilot was 14 minutes, with 67% of users being able to focus on more important work thanks to the time saved.

You may think that using AI at work could be considered cheating, but your guilt is misplaced. A carpenter does not say that the chisel did all the work, it is simply a tool to make a task easier.

Let Copilot ease your burden

To understand where Copilot was saving its users the most time, Microsoft undertook a number of studies with one group having the assistance of Copilot to complete several tasks, and a second group without.

The first study involved searching for information, summarizing a recording, and writing a blog post. The group using Copilot were 29% faster across all three tasks without any loss of accuracy and quality. Not only that, but 85% of the Copilot group also felt as though they had expended less effort to complete the tasks. Effort that could be put in to more important or creative work.

For the second study, Microsoft employees were asked to provide a summary of a missed meeting - again, with one group using Copilot and the other bereft of any assistance. Those walking hand in hand with Copilot completed the summary almost four times faster (3.8) than the control group while also feeling more productive and less drained.

The third study involved a blind panel rating how well emails were written, with some being written with Copilot assistance and others without. Overall, 18% of Copilot emails were given better ratings for clarity and 19% were more concise, with Copilot emails receiving markedly better scores in the “couldn’t have said it better myself” rankings.

For the final study, the groups were asked to pretend they were joining the procurement department, and their first task was to collate information on company procurement policy, the assistance their manager might need, and to find the timings of two future meetings. Copilot users were, of course, 27% faster in completing all the tasks without any loss of accuracy compared to the unassisted group.

These studies show that not only can Copilot strikingly enhance productivity, creativity and efficiency in the workplace, but it also lessens the demand on employees giving them more time and energy to focus on other more important tasks.

More from TechRadar Pro

Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict Collins is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro covering privacy and security. Before settling into journalism Ben worked as a Livestream Production Manager, covering games in the National Ice Hockey League for 5 years and contributing heavily to the advancement of livestreaming within the league.

He has a MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy, alongside a BA in Politics with Journalism, both from the University of Buckingham. Outside of work Ben follows many sports; most notably ice hockey and rugby. When not running or climbing, Ben can most often be found deep in the shrubbery of a pub garden.