Microsoft and LinkedIn release the 2024 Work Trend Index on the State of AI at Work

Microsoft and LinkedIn release the 2024 Work Trend Index on the State of AI at Work

May 9, 2024 | Microsoft 365

Last year, generative AI made its debut and for the first time since the smartphone, people started to change the way they interact with technology. Now, employees are bringing AI to work at an unexpected scale, and the question is, how is it going?

With the increasing presence of AI in the workplace, both employees and businesses are experiencing significant stress. The rapid and intense nature of work, which intensified during the pandemic, has not diminished, causing employees to rely on their own AI to assist them. Leaders understand the significance of AI for their businesses and feel the pressure to demonstrate immediate outcomes, but many lack a comprehensive strategy and vision to utilize AI to enhance profitability.

At the same time, the labor market is set to shift and there’s a new AI economy. While some professionals worry AI will replace their job, the data tells a more nuanced story — of a hidden talent shortage, more employees eyeing a career change, and a massive opportunity for those willing to skill up.

“AI is democratizing expertise across the workforce. Our latest research highlights the opportunity for every organization to apply this technology to drive better decision-making, collaboration — and ultimately business outcomes.”
Satya Nadella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft

For Microsoft’s fourth annual Work Trend Index, the looked to create a comprehensive view of how AI is not only reshaping work, but the labor market more broadly. 31,000 people were surveyed across 31 countries. , identified labor and hiring trends from LinkedIn, analyzed trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals and conducted research with Fortune 500 customers. The data points to insights every leader and professional needs to know — and actions they can take — when it comes to AI’s implications for work.

Workers desire AI in the workplace, and they are not willing to wait for companies to adapt.

  • 75% of knowledge workers are now using AI at work
  • 79% of business leaders say AI adoption is critical
  • 60% of business leaders worry their organization lacks a vision and plan to effectively implement AI
  • 78% of AI users admit to brining their own AI to the work place

It’s clear that employees are finding opportunities to use AI within their job to make them more productive. While that might be OK in and of itself, business leaders have not figured out how to adopt to AI in the workforce and they have not formally implemented AI for their employees to use. It’s the wild wild west and organizations are not in control.

For employees, AI opens up new employment opportunities

We also see AI beginning to impact the job market. While AI and job loss are top of mind for some, our data shows more people are eyeing a career change, there are jobs available, and employees with AI skills will get first pick.

  • 55% of business leaders say they’re worried about their ability to fill open roles this year.
  • The biggest skills gaps are in cybersecurity, engineering, and creative design.
  • According to this LinkedIn study, 85% of US employees are interested in making a career move.
  • Nearly 2/3 of business leaders want new hires to have AI skills, yet only 39% of users have received AI training from their employer.

With recruitment challenges, AI skills considered valuable, and the workforce inclined to seek new oppportunities, it’s no surprise that workers are choosing to upskill on their own. The MS report highlights a 142x increase in ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot skills appearing on user profiles. Linkedin Learning has also seen a 160% increase in AI course enrollments.

Workers who have self-taught themselves how to effectively use AI and found training opportunities are going to have a competitive advantage in the current and future workforce.

The rise of the AI Power User — and what they reveal about the future.

AI Power Users have reoriented their workdays in fundamental ways, reimagining business processes to be come more productive.

  • Power Users say that AI saves them more than 30 minutes per day completing work tasks.
  • 90% of Power Users say AI helps keep their workload manageable and their job more enjoyable.

Of those survey respondents who identify as an AI Power User, some interesting statistics emerge about their workplace:

  • They are 61% more likely to have heard from their CEO on the importance of using generative AI at work.
  • They are 53% more likely to receive encouragement from management to consider how AI can transform their job function.
  • They are 35% more likely to receive AI training for their job.

“AI is redefining work and it’s clear we need new playbooks. It’s the leaders who build for agility instead of stability and invest in skill building internally that will give their organizations a competitive advantage and create more efficient, engaged and equitable teams.”

Ryan Roslandky, CEO of LinkedIn

Organizations that are coveting AI skills in their new hires might well do better to build up those AI Power Users from within their own ranks by formally adopting an AI deployment plan.

Getting ready to adopt Generative AI

Getting started with AI is easier than you might think. With Microsoft 365 offering Copilot as an individual line item, you can easily provide access to AI for employees, as needed. We’re already seeing business leaders, managers, and some power users gaining access to Copilot as organizations explore how generative AI can transform business processes and increase employee productivity. Some of the more exciting things we’ve seen accomplished recently include:

  • Training Copilot to aid in proposal preparations with existing company marketing materials.
  • Assist in drafting legal documents by suggesting and including typical boilerplate.
  • Quickly formatting data into logical tables within Microsoft Word documents that are easy to read.
  • Assisting workers to better plan and prioritize their work day.
  • Automated data analysis within Excel.
  • Summarize Project progress by analyzing tasks, schedules, and budget data.
  • Analyzing security incidents in Defender.

If you’d like to learn more about adopting Copilot in your organization, please give us a call at 410.543.8200. We’d love to give you a hand.

Travis Fisher

Travis is Inacom’s Executive Vice President, tasked with assisting customers with their web based marketing initiatives. He’s kinda famous for his BBQ. He lives in Easton, MD with his amazing wife, two kids, and two dogs.


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