Workers in Singapore consider time-saving as AI’s best benefit

Saving time is the top advantage of artificial intelligence for most employees in Singapore and most companies in the country have adopted AI, but they may be holding workers back in AI adoption and the associated benefits at work.

These are from findings of a study commissioned Zoom and conducted August 10-25, 2023, by Morning Consult, covering 8,010 employees and 3,013 leaders across the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. There were 1,001 respondents based in Singapore.

Among respondents from Australia, Japan and Singapore, 70% of employees agreed that they had more to gain than lose from using AI at work, the highest percentage across regions. Meanwhile, 73% of leaders from the same markets said they were favourable towards AI.

Modern distributed teams are always looking for ways to increase productivity while boosting effective communication. But much of collaboration involves time-consuming tasks like sending meeting summaries and updates, or organising information, and can inadvertently create a higher productivity toll. 

Having AI to automate or aid in certain tasks could help teams solve this collaboration paradox.

When employees and leaders were asked to identify which benefits of using AI at work were the most helpful, top responses were related to saving time — whether by reducing the number of repetitive tasks, completing work faster, or using that time for something else.

In Singapore, 94% of employees identified having fewer repetitive tasks and more time to focus on other things as top benefits of AI.

Meanwhile, 91% of Singapore leaders identified fewer repetitive tasks as a benefit of AI, along with completing work faster.

Close to half of leaders in Singapore whose teams use AI at work also saw other benefits, including having a happier team (49%) and making better decisions (48%).

While employees and leaders may agree that saving time is a great benefit, they differ on how exactly they want AI to help them with their workday. 

Singapore employees are more interested in using AI tools for efficiency and automation, while leaders here want to use it for assistance during and after their meetings.

Also, Singapore employees prefer to use AI to automate repetitive tasks (46%), get real-time help during meetings (41%), and summarise meetings, chat messages, and notes (41%).

For their part, Singapore leaders prefer using AI to get real-time help during meetings (39%), have better sound and video quality during meetings (36%), and draft emails and chat messages (35%).

Among those who said they do not use AI at work, 56% of Singapore employees said it is because their company as a whole does not use it. 

Of those who do use AI at work, 59% say their company provides AI tools — which also means that the other 41% need to be self-motivated to seek out these tools.

Yet, key barriers to adoption cited by Singapore leaders put employees in the driver’s seat. Among leaders, 80% said that their teams were resistant to using new tools. 

Four in every five (80%) employees also highlighted that their teams were used to working a certain way, the highest across the eight markets surveyed.

“The clear disconnect between leaders’ perceptions of and employees’ attitudes toward AI must be addressed before their teams can fully unlock the true business value of AI,” said Ricky Kapur, head of Asia Pacific at Zoom.