Microsoft has released its third annual Work Trend Index report, “Will AI Fix Work?“. The 2023 Work Trend Index outlines three locally relevant trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, including Singapore, as well as trillions of signals in Microsoft 365 and labour trends on LinkedIn.
The study reveals that people report inefficient meetings as their number one productivity disruptor, among other challenges. AI-driven tools such as Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Viva, and the all-new Microsoft 365 Copilot will play an increasingly vital role in unlocking productivity and unleashing creativity at scale.
The Price of Digital Debt: Impeding Innovation
We all have a burden of digital overload. The sheer amount of data, emails, and conversations has surpassed our capacity to effectively handle everything. In Singapore, 69% of employees (72% in APAC) express that they struggle with insufficient time and energy to accomplish their work, while 82% (74% in APAC) agree that they lack uninterrupted focus during their workday. This lack of productivity can impede innovation, as every moment spent managing this digital overload is a moment that could have been devoted to creative tasks and strategic priorities. Concerningly, 70% of leaders in Singapore (65% in APAC) express worry about the limited level of innovation.
Embracing the New AI-Employee Alliance
Despite concerns about job displacement due to increased AI implementation across various industries, leaders are prioritising empowering employees through AI rather than replacing them. While a significant percentage (67%) of employees in Singapore express worries about AI taking over their jobs, an even larger majority (81%) would prefer to delegate tasks to AI in order to alleviate their workload (58% and 78% respectively in APAC). In Singapore, three out of four individuals are comfortable utilizing AI not only for administrative duties (85%) but also for analytical tasks (87%) and even creative aspects of their roles (81%) (83%, 85%, and 81% respectively in APAC). Moreover, business leaders in Singapore are 1.5 times more likely to believe that AI can enhance productivity rather than reduce headcount in the workplace. However, this figure is lower than the global average (2 times) and regional average (1.8 times).
Equipping Every Employee with AI Proficiency
Every employee, regardless of their expertise in AI, will require new essential skills to succeed in a transformed work environment. A significant majority of leaders in Singapore (88%, 85% in APAC) foresee the need for employees to acquire new AI-related competencies. However, currently, 76% of employees in Singapore (71% in APAC) feel that they lack the necessary capabilities to effectively perform their work. As AI becomes increasingly integrated as a collaborative tool in the workplace, we can expect far-reaching effects on the labor market, leading to enhanced job prospects and increased productivity.
Singapore is the Fastest Growing Market for AI Talent in Asia Pacific
According to LinkedIn data, the field of AI has experienced significant growth in the labor markets, and Singapore has emerged as a prominent hub for AI talent and innovation in the Asia Pacific region. Between 2016 and 2022, Singapore witnessed a remarkable 565% increase in AI talent, surpassing the growth rates of Australia (527%), India (487%), and Japan (334%). Furthermore, in 2022, the hiring of AI talent in Singapore outpaced overall hiring growth by 14%. This data indicates Singapore’s strong position as a leader in AI expertise and development.
Among the fastest-growing AI job roles in Singapore are Algorithm Engineer, Data Analyst, Data Science Specialist, and Machine Learning Engineer. Professionals in Singapore are actively equipping themselves with AI skills to stay abreast of the rapidly evolving job and skills landscape. The five AI skills experiencing the most significant growth in Singapore in 2022, based on the year-on-year increase in these skills added to member profiles, are indicative of the rise of generative AI. These skills include Natural Language Processing (52% YoY growth) and Computer Vision (47% YoY growth).
GLP Revolutionises Work with Microsoft Teams, Paving the Way for the Future
Singapore headquartered GLP, a global business builder, owner, developer and operator of logistics real estate, data centres, renewable energy and related technologies, was the first in Asia Pacific to bring AI to its workforce through Teams Premium. It intends to roll out the modern work solution across 72 offices in over 17 countries.
The live translation capabilities during meetings has benefited GLP in reducing language barriers in meetings with teams from China to Japan and Europe. Intelligent recap automatically generates a recap of their meetings on Microsoft Teams. This saves time allowing employees to pick out key discussion points and action items from meetings.
Supercharge productivity and spark creativity for innovation in the future of work with AI
To empower businesses with tools to that support employees to find the best and most productive use of their time, Microsoft is also introducing the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Programme. In addition, the following new capabilities will be added to Microsoft 365 Copilot and Microsoft Viva:
- Copilot in Outlook will offer coaching tips and suggestions on clarity, sentiment, and tone to help users write more effective emails and communicate more confidently.
- Copilot in Viva Learning will use a natural language chat interface to help users create a personalized learning journey including designing upskilling paths, discovering relevant learning resources and scheduling time for assigned trainings.
- Copilot in Whiteboard will make Microsoft Teams meetings and brainstorms more creative and effective. Using natural language, you can ask Copilot to generate ideas, organize ideas into themes, create designs that bring ideas to life, and summarize Whiteboard content.
- Copilot in OneNote will use prompts to draft plans, generate ideas, create lists and organize information to help customers find what they need easily.
- By integrating DALL-E, OpenAI’s image generator, into Copilot in PowerPoint, users can ask Copilot to create custom images to support their content.