Artificial intelligence poised to improve the way we work but proper guidance on usability is needed, Asana reveals

Asana, Inc., a global work management platform, has released The State of AI at Work Report, powered by insights from its Work Innovation Lab. The report underscores the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace, revealing that 36% of employees in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.) now use AI at work at least weekly.

What were the findings of Asana’s report?

Workers embrace AI as a strategic tool

Employees are recognizing AI’s strategic value. More than half (55%) of executives expect their companies to use artificial intelligence for goal-setting, and 61% are confident that AI will help their companies reach their objectives more effectively than traditional methods. This confidence in AI’s strategic importance is further highlighted by the more than half (51%) of executives who are willing to pay a premium for workplace tools if they are powered by AI.

AI’s use cases in the workplace are versatile and expanding rapidly. Workers are increasingly turning to AI tools to automate tasks and reduce busywork. 30% of employees currently use AI for data analysis, and 25% for administrative functions, but there’s demand for even more: 62% and 57% of employees, respectively, are eager to use AI for these tasks.

Artificial intelligence even has a role to play in creative tasks—in the U.S., 45% of employees say they are keen to use AI for brainstorming, compared to 32% in the U.K. There’s also a growing call for AI tools to be more accessible at work. 60% of employees want to democratize AI within their organizations so that it is accessible to all employees, highlighting the need for intuitive tools that cater to different use cases and technical proficiencies.

Employees are even open to AI assessing their performance at work, especially in the U.S., where 38% are receptive to the idea, compared to 28% in the U.K. A 15% of U.S. workers would entertain the idea of AI being their boss—nearly double the percentage in the U.K.

More AI guidance and training is essential

Despite employees gravitating toward artificial intelligence to enhance their work, many are concerned about how they may be viewed for doing so. 26% of workers are worried they will be viewed as lazy for using AI, and 1 in 5 workers share that they feel like a fraud for using AI—with a higher percentage of workers in the U.K. expressing such concerns.

To realize AI’s full potential, workers need clearer guidelines, more training, and accessible AI tools that enhance, not replace, the work of humans. Concerningly, only 24% of companies provide policies or guidance on AI usage at work, and just 17% of employees say they’ve received training on how to use AI in their day-to-day work. The U.S. is notably ahead in this regard, with 23% of companies offering training, compared to 13% in the United Kingdom.

There’s strong urgency to bridge these gaps. Almost half (48%) of employees want more guidance from their employers on how to use AI, and 39% say that the lack of AI training impacts their decisions to join a company. 59% of employees consider a company’s transparency about its use of AI as a key factor when joining a new organization.

What are Asana’s thoughts on the findings?

Saket Srivastava, Chief Information Officer at Asana
Saket Srivastava, Chief Information Officer at Asana

“We are moving into a new phase of AI’s role in our workplaces. Our study shows that more employees are now embracing AI at work. Employees see the potential of AI to save time and help them focus on more strategic tasks. However, there are clear obstacles, with some employees harboring concerns about how their artificial intelligence use could be perceived by peers and managers,” commented Saket Srivastava, Chief Information Officer at Asana.

“Employees can’t navigate this AI shift alone. They need clear guidelines to understand AI’s role in their functions, along with training and accessible tech to fully harness AI’s capabilities. Firms that get this right will leverage AI in a way that unlocks new levels of human ingenuity.”

To learn more about the report, read Asana’s State of AI at Work Report here.