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'AI the key to increased employee productivity', says study

'AI the key to increased employee productivity', says study

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Artificial intelligence has been a phrase on everyone’s lips as of late. With the invention of AI DJs in Malaysia, ads for small businesses that use the likeness and voice of celebrities or Google’s testing of an AI journalist, it may seem that the long running joke of AI taking over one’s job is increasingly becoming our reality.

In a similar vein, companies in Singapore have begun to see the value in AI and automation and have seen how it can take over an aspect of an individual’s job to free up time for other tasks. In a recent study, it was found that 30% of companies in Singapore have invested in such technology and that 35% already using AI tools to improve productivity and efficiency.

These were the results of Slack’s latest State of Work report. It found that while Singapore is second to India in AI and automation adoption across 18,000 workers in nine countries, 53% of employees in Singapore say that their companies have yet to incorporate AI tools to support their productivity.

This is certainly a surprise considering that the report reveals that time-saving technology could be the key to unlocking more productivity for organisations. Singapore, it was found, has the highest percentage of desk workers who believe that too much time is spent on meeting and emails at 44%.

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This is coupled with 36% of Singapore employees bemoaning time spent on performative work that does not contribute to the goals of their company but is done to make them appear productive.  AI and automation could streamline and optimise repetitive and time-consuming tasks to allow employees to focus on higher-value, strategic work.

Employee wellness is key to delivering results

Slack’s report showed that companies who have adopted automation at the workplace are 63% more likely to report higher levels of productivity than those who have not adopted AI. It was also found that it would save an estimated average of 3.6 hours a week which is equivalent to about one working month a year.

82% of employees in Singapore also say that feeling happy and engaged with their organisation will improve their productivity, job satisfaction, engagement and wellness go hand in hand to drive productivity which the automation of certain tasks could help with.

Moreover, AI and automation have the potential to aid more than a third of managers who identify issues with spending too much time on tasks such as emails and meetings. These tasks could hinder time spent to help their team stay motivated.

Value in new ways of working

Beyond automation, the report highlighted that employees in Singapore are embracing hybrid work and are looking for flexible environments that foster collaboration and inclusivity. 54% of employees have said that flexible work schedules are one of the best ways for their employer to support their productivity.

Employees have also cited flexible locations, unique workplace benefits such as recreational activities and having quiet areas as factors that could boost productivity.

However, only 21% of Singapore executives are putting these productivity strategies into motion by making changes to their physical offices. On the other hand, only 18% are encouraging asynchronous work, for example when sharing status updates.

Additionally, meetings have proven to be a main productivity challenge as 44% of employees conveyed that too much time is spent at meetings and that they could be eliminated with no tangible adverse consequences.

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