Diverse happy interns listening to mentor explaining online proj

Although nearly 80% of leaders recognize the importance of adopting AI to stay competitive, according to the 2024 Work Trend Index Annual Report
from Microsoft and LinkedIn
, they have concerns about measuring its impact on productivity (59%) and the lack of an implementation plan and vision (60%). 

But while these worries may slow down company action, employees aren’t waiting for permission to jump in:

  • Three in four knowledge workers are already using AI at work, and nearly half (46%) just started using it within the last six months. 
  • Almost 80% of AI users are bringing their own AI tools to the job. 
  • AI users report benefits like time savings (90%), the ability to focus on more important tasks (85%), creativity boosts (84%), and more enjoyable work (83%). 

Leaders hope for hires with AI skills, while employees upskill

Leaders are increasingly seeking non-technical talent with skills in generative AI — 66% won’t hire a candidate without these skills, and 71% would prefer to hire a less experienced applicant that has AI skills than someone with more experience but no AI skills. 

But in the scramble to hire, they may be overlooking the opportunity to upskill current employees. Many U.S. executives (45%) aren’t yet investing in AI tools and products for their workforce. Furthermore, just 39% of AI work users received training from their employer, and only one in four companies plan to offer such training this year. 

Whether or not their company offers training, most workers believe they need AI skills to expand their job opportunities (79%) and get promoted faster (69%). And many are working on attaining those skills — use of AI aptitude building courses on LinkedIn Learning jumped 160% for non-technical professionals over the last six months, and, globally, there has been a 142x increase in the addition of AI skills to LinkedIn member profiles.

AI is already shaping the future of work

Though 45% of professionals are concerned about AI putting them out of work, signs point to AI transforming the world of work and creating brand-new roles: 

  • Already, 12% of recruiters are designing new roles that specifically relate to the use of generative AI, and 22% are updating job descriptions to reflect this usage. 
  • Over the past two years, LinkedIn job posts that mention artificial intelligence or generative AI have experienced a significant 17% higher growth in applications, compared to job posts that do not mention these technologies.
  • The Head of AI role has seen a significant 28% growth in 2023, solidifying its importance as a new leadership position.

For leaders looking to leverage AI enthusiasm among their employees, the report recommends starting by using AI to solve business problems, fostering engagement around AI at every level, and providing ongoing training that helps employees use the technology for both general and job-specific tasks.

Find more AI at work insights in the full report.