The impact of technology on the workplace over the last year has been nothing if not substantial. From the integration of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT to the increase in data breaches across the industry, keeping up with shifting trends is a full-time job at this point in history.
Fortunately, you've got Tech.co to help you out. In our inaugural annual report on this subject, we've embarked on an in-depth journey to quantify and explain a wide range of workplace trends, noting the influence of technology as a primary driver.
We surveyed over 1000 US business leaders to ensure an accurate depiction of the workplace heading in to 2024, and help you to strategize for the year ahead.
Below, we'll introduce our 2024 workplace report and give you a preview of its key findings. Make sure to download the full report if you want the learn more about how the workplace is changing in the face of evolving technology.
Impact of Tech on the Workplace Report 2024: Key Findings
- Using more collaboration tools and AI results in higher productivity
- 59% of people who use AI have greater job satisfaction
- ChatGPT is the most popular AI tool used amongst businesses
- Digital natives and businesses that use AI are more open to the idea of a 4-day working week
- The majority of companies found it challenging to hire new staff – but remote working organizations find it easier
- Remote working organizations report higher levels of productivity
- Phishing attacks were the most common cause of a data breach
1. Using more collaboration tools and AI results in higher productivity
The use of online tools and digital resources is certainly not new to the business world. In 2023, collaboration tools and generative AI platforms took that usage to another level, adding a robust set of functionalities to the average business' operations .
Did they actually have an impact? According to our research, just over half of businesses (56%) report high productivity levels, so it appears that there is a positive effect associated with this kind of technology.
More specifically, the use of AI platforms and features has seriously improved productivity for businesses of all sizes. Our research found that 72% of respondents who use AI extensively report high organizational productivity, compared to 55% of respondents who use AI to a limited extent.
2. 59% of people who use AI have greater job satisfaction
It's no secret that AI entered the workforce in a big way in 2023. As soon as the technology became advanced enough to handle certain operations, businesses started integrating it into their systems in hopes of improving productivity. It's a trend guaranteed to continue in 2024 and beyond.
How did employees who were encouraged to use the technology feel about AI's rapid rise in the workplace? While many headlines you read claim that workers dread AI and fear it's only there to steal their jobs, our research actually found that 59% of people who use AI have great job satisfaction, quelling such concerns.
Given this, businesses should feel more comfortable rolling out this technology in 2024, as many are still lagging behind on the full adoption of the technology. In fact, we found only 1 in 25 companies have fully integrated AI throughout their organization.
3. ChatGPT is the most popular AI tool used among businesses
In November 2022, ChatGPT launched. The value of this groundbreaking technology was apparent almost immediately, and businesses were scrambling for ways to use its generative functionality to improve their businesses as much as possible.
Since then, a myriad of ChatGPT alternatives from big tech firms like Google and Microsoft have rolled in 2023. From Bard and Copilot to Claude and Jasper, these alternatives have their merits, but ChatGPT still reigns supreme.
In fact, our research found that 65% of businesses say they use ChatGPT, well ahead of the second place AI chatbot Google Bard, which boasts only 49% usage. Other alternatives included Bing AI Chat (20%), Claude AI (10%), and Jasper Chat (9%), with 8% of respondents using a lesser known “Other” platform.
4. The majority of companies found it challenging to hire new staff, but remote working organizations find it easier
The Great Resignation was the big story last year, with scores of employees leaving their positions after the pandemic gave them a taste of the flexibility while working from home. As a result, our research found that companies are still having a tough time when it comes to recruiting.
However, not all companies are having a hard time attracting new employees. Specifically, organizations offering remote job roles are recruiting with much greater ease compared to fully in-office and even hybrid working businesses.
All that to say, if an in-office policy is that important to you, employee retention should be an equally high priority for your team.
5. Digital natives and businesses that use AI are more open to the idea of a 4-day working week
Now that remote and hybrid work have become the new normal for many businesses, the newest employee perk to pique our interest is the 4-day workweek. Study after study has shown that the shortened week for the same pay has a notably positive impact on productivity, employee wellbeing, turnover, and absenteeism.
Many business owners and decision makers are coming around on it too, but the acceptance definitely depends on age. Our research found that 65% of senior leadership aged 35-44 (Millennials and Gen X) would consider implementing a 4-day working week or have already implemented it, while only 45% of senior leadership aged 55-64 (Baby Boomers) felt the same.
Beyond age, business owners of AI-powered companies are fully embracing the new work policy. In fact, a staggering 93% of senior leadership of organizations where AI plays a central role in operations are either considering a 4-day working week or have already implemented it.
There are many companies offering a 4-day workweek and some US states with 4-day week policies for employees, so if you're tired of working on Friday, there are some serious opportunities for you out in the world.
6. Remote working organizations report higher levels of productivity
Since the pandemic, remote work has indeed become a standard for many businesses. In fact, our research found that almost all businesses have the tools to facilitate remote working, from video conferencing software to project tracking services.
The remote work had some unintended benefits including boosts to employee mental health and productivity. Our research found that 64% of remote businesses report high productivity levels compared to 54% of in-office businesses. Suffice to say, remote work is good for your bottom line.
However, despite all the studies that show remote work to be beneficial for employers and employees alike, business owners have started demanding their employees return to the office. Our research found that, in 2023, over half of companies (52%) expect their employees in the office 5-days per week.
The difference between remote and hybrid work policies is notable here as well, with 38% of employees at hybrid working organizations going to the office more than they are required, based on company policy. This means that these strict return-to-office policies might not even be necessary in some situations, as your team will still commute if needed.
7. Phishing attacks were the most common cause of a data breach
Not all advancements in technology have been good for the workplace. As a result of evolving tech, bad actors have been able to ramp up their hacking activity, leading to an online security crisis that is costing businesses millions of dollars.
So, what kind of nefarious behavior should you be on the lookout for? Our research found that 23% of data breaches were caused by phishing attacks, according to senior leadership employees that we spoke to. Computer virus (22%) was also quite common, followed by employee error (12%), advanced persistent threats (9%), and unsecure Wi-Fi (8%).
Simply put, protecting your business online must be a top priority in the new year, particularly if your business works with any sensitive information.
To inform how technology is impacting the workplace in 2024, Tech.co surveyed a large sample of senior leadership professionals from businesses based in the United States. Senior leadership professionals had job titles ranging from manager to director.
We surveyed companies with 10 or more employees to ensure that our data captured the experiences and perspectives of individuals holding key leadership roles within established organizations.
To ensure an impartial and unbiased sample, we also gathered data through a survey with participants selected via a third-party panel provider. Data collection was obtained in October and finalized in November of 2023.
Finally, to guarantee an accurate reflection of US businesses, a total of 1047 responses were obtained at a confidence level of 99.9%.
If you've stumbled across our 2024 workplace report and are looking for answers on the brains behind the booklet, here's a little more information on who we are.
Tech.co was established in 2006 as a networking platform for companies working out of the Chicago area, and has transformed into a fully-fledged media company with readers around the world.
We aim to translate our passion for technology into insightful news and analysis, helpful buyers’ guides and practical resources, so SMBs across the US and beyond can grow their revenues, work smarter, and secure their success – now and in the future.
Each year, Tech.co carries out thousands of hours of independent product testing and market analyses to support over 5 million professionals annually in their pursuit to learn more about technology and make the right purchasing decisions.
We also work directly with dozens of Fortune 500 clients, such as Salesforce, monday.com, HubSpot and Zoom, to help advise on their strategies and enable them to reach brand new audiences.