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92% of Indian knowledge workers use AI in the workplace, finds Microsoft and LinkedIn 2024 Work Trend Index

Microsoft and LinkedIn unveiled the India findings of the 2024 Work Trend Index about AI’s role at work. Titled “AI at work is here. Now comes the hard part,” the report reveals AI’s rapid influence on work dynamics, leadership, and hiring within just one year. It emphasizes employees’ strong desire for AI integration, career advancement opportunities, and the rise of AI-savvy individuals in shaping the future of work.

For the fourth Work Trend Index, Microsoft and LinkedIn collaborated for the first time to offer a detailed perspective on AI’s influence on work. The insights stem from a survey of 31,000 individuals across 31 nations, LinkedIn’s data on job trends, and analysis of trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity cues, along with input from Fortune 500 clients.

The report underlines crucial insights for leaders and professionals regarding AI’s impact on work dynamics, talent management, and hiring trends in the upcoming year:

Employees want AI at work—and won’t wait for companies to catch up:

In India, workers are highly optimistic about AI. A staggering 92% of knowledge workers here use AI at work, compared to the global average of 75%. This indicates their confidence in AI’s ability to save time, enhance creativity, and improve focus. Additionally, 91% of Indian leaders recognize the necessity for their companies to embrace AI to remain competitive. However, 54% of them express concern about the absence of a clear plan and vision for AI implementation.

While leaders feel the urgency to translate individual productivity gains into broader organizational benefits, employees are taking proactive steps. About 72% of Indian AI users are introducing their own AI tools at work, known as BYOAI. This trend underscores a clear pattern: people are turning to AI to boost productivity and foster creativity in the workplace. For every leader, the opportunity lies in harnessing this momentum to achieve a return on investment (ROI).

For employees, AI raises the bar and breaks the career ceiling:

In the realm of job hunting on LinkedIn, mentioning AI in job posts can lead to a significant 17% increase in response rates. This illustrates a reciprocal relationship: companies that equip their employees with AI tools and training will not only attract top talent but also professionals who enhance their AI skills will stand out.

For leaders in India, AI proficiency has become a top priority in hiring practices. A striking 75% emphasize the importance of AI skills when considering candidates, surpassing the global average of 66%. Surprisingly, AI skills carry more weight than experience, with 80% of Indian leaders preferring to hire a less experienced candidate with AI skills over a more experienced one lacking them.

Recent trends show a substantial surge in global LinkedIn members adding AI skills like Copilot and ChatGPT to their profiles, marking a 142x increase. Additionally, there has been a notable 160% rise in non-technical professionals utilizing LinkedIn Learning courses to enhance their AI expertise.

The rise of the AI power user—and what they reveal about the future:

The research identifies four distinct types of AI users: skeptics, novices, explorers, and power users. Among them, power users stand out for their extensive utilization of AI. Unlike skeptics, who seldom use AI, power users have integrated it deeply into their work routines. A striking 90% of Indian AI power users kickstart their day with AI assistance, and 91% rely on it to prepare for the following day. They are also significantly more inclined, by 37%, to seek input from colleagues for helpful prompts and 47% more likely to experiment with AI tools.

Furthermore, AI power users exhibit a stronger inclination towards receiving training, particularly focused on prompts and role-specific AI applications, compared to other employees. They are approximately 20% more likely to undergo such training. Additionally, they are more likely to receive communication regarding generative AI, with a 65% higher likelihood of communication from the CEO, 34% more likely from the function or department lead, and 44% more likely from their manager’s manager.

Irina Ghose, managing director, Microsoft India and South Asia said, “Data from the Work Trend Index shows that AI is now a reality at work, with India having one of the highest AI adoption rates among knowledge workers, at 92%. The rate of diffusion we’re seeing across sectors, from BFSI to healthcare to ITES and the public sector has been very encouraging. This AI optimism presents a tremendous opportunity for organizations to invest in the right tools and training, to unlock efficiencies for employees and ultimately drive long term business impact.”

Ruchee Anand, head of Talent & Learning Solutions at LinkedIn said, “AI is transforming the world of work, reshaping the talent landscape and nudging both individuals and organizations to embrace change. The demand for AI expertise has seen a remarkable 17% jump from last year, echoing LinkedIn platform insights and findings of the Work Trend Index. We’ve seen professionals in India over index on learning while also adding AI skills to their professional toolkit. As the workforce looks to tap into the benefits of AI, it’s crucial for leaders to boost their organization’s AI capabilities through thoughtful investment in both technology and talent.”

The use of generative AI in workplaces worldwide has nearly doubled over the past six months. LinkedIn has observed a notable uptick in professionals adding AI skills to their profiles. However, despite this surge, with every second leader in India expressing concern about their company lacking a clear AI vision and employees introducing their own AI tools, leaders are facing the challenging phase of any technological transformation: transitioning from experimentation to tangible business outcomes.

In conjunction with the report, Microsoft unveiled new features in Copilot for Microsoft 365, aimed at aiding individuals in getting started with AI. Additionally, LinkedIn announced the availability of over 50 learning courses, now offered for free, designed to empower professionals at all levels to enhance their AI proficiency.

  • Some of the new capabilities introduced in Copilot for Microsoft 365 include: Copilot will become more conversational by suggesting follow-up prompts or asking clarifying questions to provide the best response possible.
  • A new chat interface in Copilot will proactively offer timely recommendations based on recent activity, like “You missed Tuesday’s sales meeting. Here’s a quick summary” or flagging an important email for follow up.
  • The prompt box in Copilot will now have an auto complete experience, allowing users to get better results from their prompts. If you’ve already written the prompt, a new rewrite feature will turn basic prompts into rich ones, grounded in your work meetings, documents and emails.
  • Updates to Copilot Lab will allow employees to create, publish, and manage prompts that are expressly tailored to their team.

In addition to the 50 new AI learning courses available for free through July 8, LinkedIn offers:

  • AI-powered coaching with personalized content and conversational learning.
  • AI-powered personalized takeaways on LinkedIn Feed offering insights, ideas and actions.
  • AI-powered tools to assess fitment for a role based on experience and skills match, plus advice on how to stand out and suggestions for skill building.

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BRL Editorhttps://businessreviewlive.com
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