While successful trials across the world have already encouraged some companies to offer a 4-day workweek, artificial intelligence might just be the catalyst to making the new-age workplace policy more widespread.
According to a survey of 1000 US-based business leaders we recently conducted, those who said their company had extensive experience using AI were more than twice as likely to be open to a 4-day workweek than those who reported that they’d never have used the technology.
So, if your business is beginning to implement AI tools, apps, and systems with increasing frequently, a 4-day workweek might not be quite as far away as you might think.
Can Artificial Intelligence Make a 4-Day Work Week A Reality?
According to Tech.co’s Impact of Technology on the Workplace report, 93% of senior leaders at organizations where AI is integral to business function are considering or have already implemented a 4-day workweek, with only the remaining 7% unsure if they will.
Remarkably, no senior leaders who had implemented AI “fully” into their business said they wouldn’t consider a 4-day workweek.
By contrast, only 41% of business leaders who said AI wasn’t being used in their workplaces at all said they would consider a 4-day workweek, while a further 21% of this AI-averse cohort said they weren’t sure.
As you can see from the chart above, the extent to which AI is being implemented and used in a business directly correlates to how open they are to implementing a 4-day working week. The more you use AI, the more a 4-day week starts to seem appealing, it seems.
While AI is often portrayed as a major threat to a huge range of job roles spanning numerous sectors, data like this suggests that the exact nature of the disruption it will cause over the next few years is unlikely to be black and white.
Granted, AI will almost certainly eliminate some jobs from the workforce, but it'll also open up new opportunities and change existing roles too – much like the internet. It could well provide the basis for a shift to better arrangements for workers in the form of a shorter week – which may come sooner rather than later for the staff at companies exploring smarter ways to work.
Which AI tools are Businesses Really Using?
AI tools are being used extensively by a lot of employees at a wide range of businesses, but what tools are employees actually using when they say they’re using “AI”?
Despite lots of competing tools being brought to market since the launch of ChatGPT back in November 2022, OpenAI’s creation is still the most widely-used generative AI tool on the market, with 65% of business leaders reporting that it’s used at their company.
Google’s generative AI platform Bard, which is also one of the best AI chatbots we've tested, came in a distant second with 48% of businesses reporting that they used it.
Microsoft's Bing Chat (now CoPilot) trailed even further. The third-most used generative AI tool was favored by just over a fifth (21%) of businesses, while 10% of businesses reported using Claude, a ChatGPT alternative launched by AI startup Anthropic.
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The AI Revolution Rolls On
It’s clear that both the availability and usage of tools like ChatGPT and Bard have fundamentally changed the way that many of us view work.
It makes sense that companies that are willing to take the plunge and actually attempt to implement it fully into their workplace infrastructure tend to be more open to trying out other, equally novel ways to make their workforce more productive, such as shortening their working week.
Indeed, a 4-day work week looks like it could be on the horizon in several industries, especially considering the retention of the policy in landmark trials – and AI has the potential to make this transition easier by supporting, assisting, and augmenting the working capabilities of employees.
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