Unauthorized AI Tools in the Workplace

Unauthorized AI tools in the workplace

Despite the opportunities that AI offers in the workplace, there is often a lack of defined guidelines and basic knowledge for its use.

Almost a quarter of employees in Germany currently use generative AI in the workplace. Two thirds of those surveyed confirm that they are more productive as a result. However, more than half have already worked with unauthorized generative AI tools, 34 percent even with explicitly prohibited tools. This is the conclusion of the Salesforce study “The Promises and Pitfalls of AI at Work” on the opportunities and challenges of AI in the workplace.

Regardless of whether they use generative AI at work or not, employees are aware of the impact of the technology on their careers: 46% believe that AI skills will improve their career prospects. A similar number think that these skills will give them more job satisfaction and 40 percent expect higher salaries.

The workplace lacks AI guidelines

Despite the opportunities, the challenges surrounding the topic of AI still need to be addressed. There is a lack of education on the subject of AI. Three quarters of the employees surveyed have not yet received any training on the appropriate use of generative AI or any training on the safe use of AI.

Companies also lack clear guidelines for the use of generative AI in the workplace, according to 81% of German employees. For 30 percent, these guidelines are completely absent. But even where there are guidelines, they are often not sufficient for targeted use: 35% of respondents state that the AI guidelines in their company are not sufficient for the planned use. A lack of guidelines is also evident in the way employees handle AI results individually: 55% of survey participants have already passed off AI-generated results as their own.

About the study

For the Salesforce study “The Promises and Pitfalls of AI at Work”, YouGov surveyed over 14,000 full-time employees from companies of various sizes and industries online between October 18 and 31, 2023, around 1,000 of whom were from Germany.