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How AI is shaping the workplace of tomorrow

  • Written by Sally McKibbin, Career Expert at Indeed

The global workforce – and work in general – has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last five years, and one which is unlikely to slow down. But how our workforce adopts and adapts to new technologies, like AI, will determine what the future of work looks like in Australia.

Australians are well placed and ready to meet the challenges AI will bring. Known for their can-do attitude and their ‘she’ll be right’ approach to meeting challenges head on, Aussies are proving to be fearless when it comes to embracing the efficiencies and uncertainties of using AI in the workplace.

According to recent studies by Indeed, a staggering 91% of Australian workers express confidence in their ability to adapt to the changes AI will inevitably bring to their jobs. What’s particularly striking is that Aussies are leading the charge globally, with confidence in Australia highest across the 11 countries surveyed, followed by the US (92%) and India (95%).

This confidence may in part be due to already widespread use of AI in workplaces. Indeed’s data shows Al is an increasingly pervasive presence in the Australian workplace, with half of Australian white-collar professionals already leveraging AI tools to streamline their daily workflows, signalling a shift in how tasks are conceptualised and executed. This increasing reliance on AI heralds the start of a new era, one characterised by heightened efficiency and efficacy in workplace operations.

Amidst this transformative wave, Australian employers have emerged as proactive enablers, facilitating rather than impeding the integration of AI. A resounding 73% of white-collar workers report having access to AI tools at work, with 40% of these saying they are actively encouraged to use these tools by their employers. A further half of AI-utilising white-collar workers also note that the use of AI has brought updates to their job descriptions, while 70% anticipate a significant shift in the skills required to perform their jobs in the next five years.

But despite enthusiasm for emerging tech and the swift adoption of AI, Australian workers recognise that while AI does data better, only humans can emote. When probed on what tasks and traits are best performed by mankind or machine, Aussies are frank. They say data analysis, routine tasks, problem solving and attention to detail are performed better by AI, but humans get the workers’ vote when it comes to decision-making (33%, versus 25% for AI), critical thinking (35% versus 27%) and customer service (44% versus 21%). Only one characteristic garners majority support, however, and that’s emotional intelligence—around 53% believe humans do it better.

With Aussie workers demonstrating remarkable confidence in their ability to adjust to the changes AI will bring to their jobs, and workplaces already integrating AI tools to create efficiencies, Australian businesses are well-positioned to lead a global charge in navigating these transformative shifts well into the future.

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