Australian leaders are more enthusiastic about AI than their global peers. Still, they need to carefully navigate ongoing employee concerns, a new global study commissioned by Zoom Video Communications has found.
The worldwide study, commissioned by Zoom and conducted by Morning Consult, involved over 11,000 full-time knowledge workers, 1,000 being Australian. The vast majority (93 per cent) of Australian leaders surveyed were favourable towards AI adoption, compared to 88 per cent of leaders worldwide.
Saving time is a top benefit of AI:
Australian leaders’ favourable attitudes to AI are undoubtedly underpinned by the results their teams are getting from AI. Among those whose Australian teams use AI at work, the majority of leaders agreed their teams completed tasks faster (88 per cent), were more productive (84 per cent), and delivered higher quality work (85 per cent). Australian leaders also recognised a need to move quickly, with 76 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that delaying AI introduction creates a risk of their business falling behind.
Perhaps reflecting the different kinds of activities they spend most of their time engaged in, employees and leaders differ on how exactly they want AI to help them in their workdays. Australian employees are more interested in using AI tools for efficiency and automation, while leaders here want to use them for assistance during and after their meetings.
Employees prefer to use AI to:
Summarise meetings, chat messages, and notes (44 per cent)
Automate repetitive tasks (43 per cent)
To find and organise information (36 per cent)
Meanwhile, leaders prefer using AI to:
Have better sound and video quality during meetings (38 per cent)
Summarise meetings, chat messages, and notes (34 per cent)
Get real-time help during meetings (34 per cent)
Employees are more hesitant toward AI than leaders: When asked about the potential negatives of AI, Australian employees focussed on AI technology itself and the potentially negative effects it could have on their jobs, with 89 per cent identifying job losses as a drawback of AI adoption.
It would appear many leaders recognise their concerns, with 71 per cent noting that fear of job losses was a barrier to AI adoption. Leaders also see relevant training as a challenge, with 80 per cent identifying it as the biggest roadblock to AI adoption. Some leaders also reported concerns about growing employee dependency on AI.
“Amid such concerns, leadership will be key to unlocking AI benefits, and in fostering adoption. Just as AI can help automate or assist with tasks to improve productivity, it can also help boost collaboration. Educating teams and providing resources are essential steps toward unlocking the full potential of AI in the workplace,” said Bede Hackney, head of Australia and New Zealand at Zoom.
Meanwhile, Ricky Kapur, head of Asia Pacific, Zoom noted the opportunity cost that AI avoiders may be imposing on their businesses. “Those who don’t use AI at work likely don’t recognise how much time they could potentially be saving. It’s clear that those who aren’t using it may be missing out on an opportunity to improve how they use their time by embracing these transformative technologies,” said Kapur.
APAC stands out in the survey as the region most bullish on AI, with 69 per cent of APAC employees (and 60 per cent of Australian employees) reporting being excited about AI; a measurably higher proportion than their US counterparts (47 per cent).
Employees in the APAC region are also more likely than others to use AI in the future (43 per cent say they are likely to, compared to 29 per cent in EMEA and 26 per cent in the U.S.).
“Australian leadership’s positive response to AI in the workplace indicates the country’s forward-thinking approach to innovation. As we navigate the evolving landscape of work transformation, Zoom is proud to support Australian businesses with its all-in-one intelligent collaboration platform in adopting cutting-edge technologies that can fully unlock the true business value of AI,” said Hackney.
As Australian leaders see AI as a potential solution, the survey reflects a promising trend and underscores the potential for Australia to lead in the adoption of AI.
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