Only 23 per cent of Canadians have a healthy relationship with work; AI can help, says HP

Artificial intelligence can be the key to unlocking better relationships with work, HP revealed in its new Work Relationship Index (WRI) report.

“AI represents a significant opportunity to transform our work dynamics and unlock a more positive and productive environment for all,” stated Dave Shull, president of HP Workforce Solutions at HP Inc.. “To foster greater understanding and acceptance of AI – and ensure employees know how to reap its benefits – business leaders must take the initiative to educate employees on AI’s potential and spearhead its effective integration.”

The report gathered insights from more than 15,000 workers across 12 countries, including 1000 knowledge workers, 300 IT decision makers, and 100 business leaders in each country, including Canada.

Concerningly, Canada ranked seventh, with only 23 per cent of respondents reporting a healthy relationship with work, trailing the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Mexico, India and others.

In fact, knowledge workers in growing economies, such as India, Brazil and Mexico, reported a higher sense of fulfillment and greater confidence in their skills than those in mature economies, noted Mary Ann Yule, president and chief executive officer, HP Canada.

“Knowledge workers within these regions are also faring better with the return to office, as 74 per cent report they are more productive since coming back,” she said. “The opportunity for increased collaboration, productivity and socialization has re-instilled the belief that work should add to their happiness and not detract from it. This includes an increased desire to have some level of control and autonomy on when, where and how they perform their work.”

However, in mature economies like Canada, knowledge workers claim that when their relationship with work is increasingly strained, they are less productive, more disengaged and disconnected from their organization, and more likely to contemplate leaving the company, compared to their counterparts who report a healthy relationship with work.

The report, nonetheless, revealed that a resounding 70 per cent of IT decision makers and 72 per cent of business leaders believe that AI can play a role in improving their relationship with work, and their work-life balance. 

That number is intriguingly lower among knowledge workers, who might be more concerned about job security. Nearly half of younger workers, notably Gen Z, are concerned about their jobs being replaced by AI. They are also less likely than IT decision makers and business leaders to think that AI will make their jobs easier or that AI will allow them to offload tedious and repetitive tasks.

“Artificial intelligence’s potential to foster healthier relationships with work is well understood by the workforce, with business leaders and IT decision makers leading the way,” noted Yule. “However, our Work Relationship Index tells us that there is a disconnect between what these groups know and what knowledge workers understand. Younger knowledge workers feel threatened by this innovation because they are part of the wider group of employees who do not know how to maximize the benefits of the technology.”

Business leaders, therefore, have a critical role in educating employees on AI, especially considering that 42 per cent of knowledge workers say they do not know when to use AI at work and 58 per cent believe it is the responsibility of senior leadership to spearhead the adoption of artificial intelligence for better work outcomes.

That being said, both business leaders and knowledge workers overwhelmingly agree that their company needs to hold proper training on how to use AI.

“In an evolving work landscape where businesses are striving to unlock heightened engagement, retention, and productivity, as well as keeping their employees inspired, the strategic integration of AI emerges as a potent force for transformation,” said Stella Low, chief communications officer, HP. “Knowledge workers around the world are looking to senior leadership to show them how to navigate the AI terrain effectively: the stage is set for business leaders to seize the opportunity to both empower their employees and drive success.”

See the full report here.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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