clock December 24,2023
2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report from Microsoft and LinkedIn Unveils Critical Role of AI in Modern Workplaces

2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report from Microsoft and LinkedIn Unveils Critical Role of AI in Modern Workplaces

The 2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report from Microsoft and LinkedIn offers valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of the workplace. To help leaders and organizations overcome artificial intelligence (AI) resistance, Microsoft and LinkedIn examined how AI will broadly reshape and is impacting the work and labor market. They have surveyed 31,000 people across 31 countries, identified labor and hiring trends from LinkedIn, and analyzed trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with research from Fortune 500 customers.

The 2024 report reveals three key findings, 1) employees want AI at work and won’t wait for companies to catch up, 2) AI is raising the bar for employees and helping break the career ceiling, and 3) the rise of the power user and what they reveal about the future. With this research, the evidence indicates that those who adapt quickly will lead the way, leveraging AI not to just meet immediate workplace demands, but lead to business transformation.

Employees want AI at work – and they won’t wait for companies to catch up


AI is being woven into the workplace at an unexpected scale. Today, the report shows that 75% of global knowledge workers are now utilizing generative AI, marking a significant shift towards AI-powered productivity. Notably, the use of generative AI has nearly doubled in the last six months, with 46% of survey respondents having started using it within this period. However, while the workforce seems to have wholly embraced AI, leaders are hesitant about its adoption. While 79% of leaders agree their companies need AI to remain competitive, the pressure to demonstrate an immediate return on investment (ROI) is leading to a more cautious approach in adopting the technology.

Nonetheless, employees are taking things into their own hands with 78% of AI users globally bringing their own AI to work (BYOAI) and keeping their AI use under wraps. The report notes that the trend of BYOAI is not limited to Gen Z (18yrs-28yrs). Employees across all age groups are bringing their own AI tools to work, empowering them to keep up with the rapid pace of work.

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

The impact of AI on the job market is becoming increasingly evident. As AI becomes central to hiring practices, leaders are prioritizing these skills in their workforce. In fact, 66% of leaders now state they wouldn't hire someone without AI skills, and 71% would prefer a less experienced candidate with AI proficiency over a more experienced candidate lacking them.

Recognizing the transformative potential of AI, individuals in Sri Lanka are presented with the opportunity to equip themselves with the indispensable AI skills to stay globally competitive, by utilizing resources available in LinkedIn Learning. The 160% surge in the usage of LinkedIn Learning courses targeting AI skills among non-technical professionals over the past six months highlights that AI is rapidly becoming an essential skill across all industries, and not solely within the tech sector.

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

According to the report, there were four types of AI users that could be identified, ranging from skeptics who rarely use AI to power users who are those who use it extensively, with novices and explorers in between. Given the transformative potential of AI, there is much to gain in becoming a Power User of AI, someone who uses AI several times a week and saves more than 30 minutes a day. Power Users are no longer sticking to just individual tasks, with 66% more likely to redesign their business processes and workflows with AI.

Notably, Power Users are also bolstered by a distinct kind of organization. At their companies, 61% are more likely to hear from their CEO about the importance of using generative AI at work and the culture of the company is change ready with 53% of Power Users more likely to receive encouragement from leadership to consider how AI can transform their function. Further, they also get tailored training on prompt writing and how to use AI for their role, writing or to analyze data.

The 2024 Microsoft and LinkedIn Work Trend Index Annual Report highlights a transformative shift in the workplace driven by AI. Sri Lankan leaders can capitalize on this by identifying business challenges and applying relevant AI solutions to improve efficiency. Successful AI adoption requires a comprehensive approach involving all employees from the CEO to the entry-level employees, with internal champions promoting AI use. Further, continuous, role-specific training becomes essential for effective AI utilization. By embracing this strategy, Sri Lankan businesses can be empowered to fully embrace AI, foster growth and competitiveness in the global stage.

Image One: BYOAI Is Not Just for Gen Z

Image Two: The New Hiring Imperative

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