Study also shows generative AI adoption varies based on position, company size, and companies’ adoption of remote work
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – June 27, 2023 – Upwork Inc. (NASDAQ: UPWK), the world’s work marketplace, today released findings from a new study around the impact of generative AI in the workplace. The study, conducted among 1,400 U.S. business leaders—senior managers through C-suite level—by Upwork’s newly created Research Institute, reveals that while there may be variation in generative AI adoption across companies, two-thirds of C-suite leaders agree that they will increase hiring as a result of generative AI.
A majority of leaders in the workforce (59%) say that they are personally embracing generative AI, as tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney have put its power at the fingertips of a broad range of non-technical users for the first time. While adoption among leaders may be widespread, there is still a disconnect between leaders and their workforces in how and to what extent generative AI is being adopted, and what the impact of this adoption will be.
For full findings and insights visit www.upwork.com/blog/generative-ai-disconnect. Key findings include:
- Companies will hire more as a result of generative AI. 49% of business leaders say they will hire more freelancers and 49% say they will hire more full-time employees. 64% of C-suite respondents say they will hire more professionals of all types due to generative AI, the strongest level of agreement among those surveyed.
- There is a disconnect between the C-suite and their leadership team around whether or not their company is embracing generative AI. 73% of C-suite executives say that their company embraces generative AI, compared to only 54% of VPs, 52% of directors, and 53% of senior managers.
- Remote-first companies are more likely to embrace generative AI. 68% of full-time remote companies say they are actively embracing generative AI, compared to only 53% of companies that are full-time in the office.
- Midsized companies are leading generative AI adoption. 62% of midsized companies (501-5,000 employees) say they are leveraging generative AI, compared to 41% of larger companies (5,001+ employees) and 56% of small companies (251-500 employees).
- The majority of business leaders are personally using generative AI. 59% of business leaders say that they are personally embracing generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney.
“The early findings from our study reveal that embracing generative AI throughout all levels of an organization will be imperative, ” said Kelly Monahan, managing director, Upwork Research Institute. “However, our survey shows that there is currently a disconnect between C-suite executives and their teams and this is likely due to a lack of training and understanding of how this technology will impact work. Businesses that want to bridge this gap should roll out a change management strategy that includes: communicating the expected outcomes for their workforce in relation to generative AI adoption, and clear policies. It’s important that leaders address fear and uncertainty, and, perhaps most critically, encourage their teams to adopt a learning orientation.”
To stay informed about future announcements and research from the Upwork Research Institute, visit www.upwork.com/research-institute/stay-informed.
The study was conducted by independent research firm ClearlyRated. 1,400 U.S. business leaders – senior managers through C-suite level – were surveyed through a third-party independent online sample in May 2023. A descriptive analysis was conducted to compare business leader cohort responses within our sample. Statistically significant differences are reported.
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