Most of us are more excited to use AI at work than ever — mainly so we can offload boring tasks

A person holding out their hand with a digital AI symbol.
(Image credit: Shutterstock / LookerStudio)

A growing number of workers are embracing the usage of AI tools in the workplace, but many still aren't exactly how it can benefit them effectively, new research has found.

A study from Slack has revealed workers are warming up slightly to AI in the office, particularly when it comes to boosting productivity and efficiency, but there still seems to be some way to go. 

In fact, many workers simply want to use AI to offload some of their most boring and tedious tasks, freeing them up to focus on more creative or enriching work, the study found.

AI boost

The findings from Slack's Workforce Lab surveyed over 10,000 workers across the world, uncovering some significant differences in opinions between seniority levels when it comes to using AI.

It found the vast majority of executives (96%) felt an urgency to incorporate AI into business operations as soon as possible, with the number aiming to do this “in the next 18 months” rising from 5% to 35% of all executives - a 7x growth since September 2023. 

“Companies have urgent, ambitious goals for AI in the enterprise and our research shows there are huge productivity benefits to be gained — but many leaders are still figuring out how to kickstart adoption among employees,” says Denise Dresser, CEO of Slack. 

“While this is truly a seismic shift in the future of work, there are simple steps every business can take starting today to help onboard employees on AI while maintaining trust.” 

When it comes to desk workers, AI is playing a more prominent role, with usage up 23% since January 2024's survey, and 60% since September 2023. 

Nearly all (81%) of workers said AI tools were helping improve productivity, and just under half (47%) of desk workers said they were happy for AI to handle tasks from their job (compared to 42% at the start of 2024.)

Many desk workers are also experiencing burnout, the study found, with around a third of workers saying they are regularly stressed, and 30% saying they don't feel passion for their job.

With many having to prioritize admin tasks over actual high-value work, the possibility for AI to step in and relieve this pressure is warmly embraced by many workers, the survey notes.

"We’re at a crucial turning point with AI. If we want to make the most of what AI can offer without just ramping up stress and burnout, it’s on us as leaders to equip our teams with tools they can trust and help employees steer that extra time into the most rewarding work," said Christina Janzer, Head of Slack Workforce Labs.

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Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.