Artificial Intelligence saves Aussie workers 6 hours per week

More than 85 per cent of white collar Australian workers now use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their workplace, and estimate it saves them an average of 6.2 hours of work each week, new research has revealed.

According to a survey of 1000 Australian white collar workers by Sydney-based digital marketing agency Fusion Digital, ChatGPT is the most popular tool, with 72 per cent of white-collar workers using it.

A typical office worker spends 4.6 hours a week using AI tools, and 66 per cent of workers surveyed believe it makes their jobs easier.

Fusion Digital Founder Scott Pittman said the research showed just how much AI had impacted the workplace, particularly over the past 12 months.

“As digital marketers, we’ve seen first-hand the pace of change and adoption,” he said.

“This technology is here to stay – and it certainly won’t be slowing down.”

The workers surveyed also revealed using AI saved them an average of 6.2 hours each week, with one-in-three saying it saves them five or more hours, while 25 per cent only save up to two hours a week. 

It also appears the amount of time workers save corresponds with how efficiently they use AI, with more time spent using the tools not necessarily equating to saving more time on the other end.

Just 15 per cent of professionals said they saved more time than they spend using AI.

Mr Pittman said the survey also revealed one-in-five Australian office workers use AI in secret from their employer, while 40 per cent trust AI tools.

Coincidentally, the more workers use AI, the more they trust it.

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Notably, employees of larger companies (more than 5000 employees) were found to be the most proactive users of AI, spending an average of 6.7 hours per week on AI tools, compared to about three hours per week for employees of small businesses (1-100 employees).

“I think we’re a way off AI taking everyone’s jobs, and at present we’re seeing AI empower most employees to scale their output, productivity and value, although some work is needed for ethical policies and safeguards to catch up,” Mr Pittman said.

“There’s competitive advantage on the table right now for those who apply and execute effectively, but this window is closing fast. 

“The time for Australian professionals to get ahead of the AI revolution is now.”

The survey also revealed a generational divide, with Gen Z showing scepticism towards AI’s accuracy and trustworthiness.

Millennials appear the most enthusiastic about AI with 73 per cent saying it makes their job easier, while 55 per cent say AI should be trusted and 49 per cent believe it will have a positive societal impact. 

In contrast, Gen Z (aged 18-26) seem more sceptical with only 40 per cent saying AI should be trusted, while just 30 per cent believe it generates correct answers.

In fact, Gen Z attitudes align more closely with Baby Boomers (aged 58-plus), with 50 per cent of Baby Boomers fearing AI will have a negative impact and 15 per cent saying it makes their work harder.

Despite mixed feelings about AI’s reliability, most see its value, with professionals willing to spend an average of $60 per month on AI tools if they enhance productivity.

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