Many young workers from Generation Z are embracing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace to make their tasks easier and more efficient. However, a recent survey reveals that they are hesitant to share this information with their managers.

The survey, conducted by Cint on behalf of Advertising Week Europe, involved 1,000 participants aged 16 to 79 in the UK. It discovered that over a third of employees of all age groups feel afraid to disclose their use of AI at work. This fear is particularly prevalent among Generation Z, with 42% expressing unease, followed closely by 40% of millennials.

The lack of a clear company policy on AI contributes to this apprehension. The study reveals that two-thirds of UK companies surveyed do not have a defined approach to the use of AI, leaving employees uncertain about whether they can leverage the technology.

Interestingly, the research also found that experienced workers are less likely to have utilized AI. Only 69% of individuals with over 15 years of work experience have never used AI, compared to 62% of those with less than 15 years of experience who have incorporated AI into their work routines.

Sectors such as technology and finance appear to be at the forefront of AI implementation, with these employers more likely to have adopted the technology and provided support to their employees in navigating its use. Conversely, industries like medicine, education, retail, and hospitality are lagging behind in terms of AI integration.

Ruth Mortimer, the global president of Advertising Week Europe, acknowledges the challenges associated with AI adoption in the workplace. She emphasizes that workers already face uncertainty in the job market, and requesting to use AI can feel daunting. Many associate AI with the potential to replace human jobs rather than enhance them, leading employees to fear that expressing interest in AI could jeopardize their positions.

Mortimer highlights the importance of managers fostering a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable discussing AI. They should demonstrate their understanding of AI, acknowledge the opportunities and challenges it presents, and encourage open conversations with their teams. Failure to create such an atmosphere could result in companies falling behind in this rapidly evolving field.

The emergence of AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT has already made a significant impact across various industries. Workers in fields such as law, engineering, teaching, and real estate have embraced the use of AI chatbots to expedite tasks like drafting emails, creating social media content, and writing property listings. One individual mentioned in the survey shared that ChatGPT completes around 80% of their job, enabling them to take on additional work simultaneously.

The survey sheds light on the reluctance of Generation Z workers to disclose their use of AI at work. The absence of clear company policies regarding AI and concerns about job security contribute to this apprehension. It is crucial for managers to foster an open and supportive environment that embraces AI’s potential and encourages conversations surrounding its implementation.

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