Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn released the 2024 Work Trend Index, a joint report on the state of AI at work titled, “AI at work is here. Now comes the hard part.” The research — based on a survey of 31,000 people across 31 countries* (including Thailand), labor and hiring trends on LinkedIn, trillions of Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn released the 2024 Work Trend Index, a joint report on the state of AI at work titled, “AI at work is here. Now comes the hard part.

The research — based on a survey of 31,000 people across 31 countries* (including Thailand), labor and hiring trends on LinkedIn, trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals and research with Fortune 500 customers — shows how, just one year in, AI is influencing the way people work, lead and hire around the world.

2024 is the year of AI at work. The use of generative AI at work has nearly doubled in the last six months. LinkedIn is seeing a significant increase in professionals adding AI skills to their profiles, and most leaders say they wouldn’t hire someone without AI skills. However, with many leaders in Asia worried that their company lacks an AI vision and with employees bringing their own AI tools to work, leaders have reached the hard part of any tech disruption: moving from experimentation to tangible business impact.

Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director of Microsoft Thailand, said: “Generative AI tools have found widespread acceptance in the workplace, and we can see that most employees have placed their trust in AI to help with their daily workloads – without waiting to see if their organization will provide AI tools, services, or directions and guidelines for usage. It is critical that business leaders respond to this emerging trend in order to help both the organization and employees make the most beneficial impact from AI – from increased productivity and new capabilities to greater security from well-defined guidance around AI use.”

The Work Trend Index report reveals three urgent insights that every APAC leader and professional needs to know about AI’s impact on work and the labor market in the year ahead:

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

The study shows that 92% of knowledge workers in Thailand now use AI at work – significantly higher than the global average at 75%. Among these AI users, 81% have been using the AI tools of their choice – resulting in the emerging “Bring Your Own AI” (BYOAI) trend, which may lead to companies missing out on the benefits that come with strategic AI use at scale and can put company data at risk.

This widespread adoption of AI is potentially driven by the large workloads that each employee must handle. 68% of knowledge workers worldwide said they were struggling to keep up with the pace and volume of work, and many see AI as the time-saving, creativity-boosting tool that enables them to focus on their most important work.

Meanwhile, 91% of Thai business leaders believe their company needs to adopt AI to stay competitive – well above the global average of 79%. However, 64% of Thai leaders (60% worldwide) are concerned that their organization’s leadership lacks a plan and vision to implement AI. Furthermore, many leaders face difficulties in quantifying the impact of AI to justify investment – an obstacle that businesses will have to overcome.

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

AI power users have distinctive usage patterns that stand out from the rest. Always on the lookout for ways to change how they work with AI, these power users have reoriented their workdays, saving on average 30 minutes per day or 10 hours per month.

In Thailand, 86% of AI power users (85% worldwide) bookend their day with AI – starting each morning and ending the day with AI to get ready for the following workday. However, only 45% of Thai power users regularly experiment with AI use in new scenarios – considerably lower than the global average of 68%.

Furthermore, Thai power users encounter a different level of support structure within their organizations. Only 28% of Thai power users hear about AI-related movements at work from their teams or departments – once again under the global average of 40%. In terms of learning opportunities, only 22% of Thai power users receive additional AI-related skills training compared to 42% worldwide.

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

AI skills are now regarded as critically important assets in the workforce – both in Thailand and around the world. 74% of Thai business leaders (66% worldwide) said that they would not hire candidates with no AI skills. If offered a choice between AI skills and work experience, 90% of Thai leaders (71% worldwide) would choose the employee who has AI skills over the more experienced one.

Meanwhile, a majority of global leaders (55%) are concerned about having enough talent to fill roles this year, with leaders in cybersecurity, engineering, and creative design feeling the pinch most.

Data from LinkedIn also reveals the following findings:

  • As of late last year, we’ve seen a 142x increase in members globally adding AI skills like ChatGPT and Copilot to their LinkedIn profiles.
  • AI mentions in LinkedIn job posts drive a 17% bump in application growth over the past two years.
  • Of the 10 job titles with the highest percentage of users adding AI-related skills into their profile, only 2 are technical jobs (front-end developer and web developer), while the top 3 jobs are content writer, graphic designer, and marketing manager.

“We have to make AI a part of how we work and live – from looking up information or finding new ideas quickly to increasing productivity and creativity,” added Dhanawat. “With AI as our companion, organizations should set clear goals and directions in how AI can help solve challenges that employees are facing. At the same time, business leaders must consider a way forward to enhance AI skills across the workforce, provide effective and secure AI tools for employees, and enable executives and staff at all levels to work together in determining the organization’s policy for AI – all so that they can create clarity and impact across every person and every department.”

Microsoft recently announced Copilot for Microsoft 365 innovations to help people get started with AI.

  • 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

LinkedIn is now providing AI tools to enable you to stay ahead in your career, with over 600 AI courses currently and 50 new AI learning courses available for everyone for free through July 8.

  • In addition, AI-powered coaching offers personalized content and conversational learning.
  • For LinkedIn Premium subscribers, new AI-powered personalized takeaways on LinkedIn Feed offer you insights, ideas and actions to take.
  • AI-powered tools make it easier to assess your fit for a role in seconds based on your experience and skills. You can also get advice on how to stand out and suggestions for skill building.

To learn more, visit the Official Microsoft Blog, the 2024 Work Trend Index Report, and head to LinkedIn to hear more from the company’s Chief Economist, Karin Kimbrough.

*Asia Pacific markets in the study include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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