Could your trusted co-worker soon be a chatbot? A few years ago, the idea would have seemed far-fetched. But with the rapid strides AI tools like ChatGPT are making, and with the trepidation about AI taking over jobs slowly subsiding, the way we work with AI is evolving. Now, instead of seeing Generative AI as a competitor, more of us are relying on it to be a partner at work.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) describes algorithms that use machine learning to create or generate content. This could be text, images, music, or even code. And this is what makes the technology a game changer at the workplace, and renders it useful to us.

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that GenAI can increase workforce productivity by an average of 14% — for example, by helping lower-skill customer support agents to communicate more like high-skill agents. Some companies are already reporting productivity increases of up to 40X and Mckinsey says that GenAI could add up to $4.4 trillion worth of output annually.

Impressive statistics aside, here’s how you can use GenAI to ramp up your productivity at work, and save time while getting more things done.

  1. Increase efficiency with a GenAI assistant

Wanted a way of speeding up those time-consuming but essential routine tasks? Office productivity suites are already on it. For example, Microsoft 365 Copilot helps you get more out of Microsoft 365 everyday apps to complete a host of tasks faster – prepare meeting updates, create slides, and even analyze data. You can key-in prompts and questions to get the results, thus making interacting with the technology easy.

  1. Ease up project management tasks with an AI-based second-in command

Why spend your energy on the routine activities around project management when you can redirect it to the actual work of implementing the project and leading your team? Professor and leading expert in strategy implementation and project management, Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, believes that AI can enable today’s project manager to veer away from administrative tasks and cultivate strong soft skills, leadership qualities, strategic thinking and business acumen. Indeed, AI project management tools are all set to help draw up plans, compile to-do lists, track deliverables, and ensure all stakeholders stay updated.

  1. Crunch data with ease with an AI-driven research assistant

Sifting through heaps of data to find answers can be a daunting task. With the aid of GenAI, you can simply upload the data, then ask questions about it, gain insights, and find trends. There are almost 75 tools including free ones like Graphy and Census GPT to help you understand data in simpler, faster ways and make better decisions. But do remember, the quality and accuracy of the data used will affect the reliability of the trends and answers shared.

  1. Ignite creativity with your AI sounding board

For those in the creative field who need to constantly generate campaign ideas or content across mediums, GenAI can be your true collaborator. Video, music, and image generation tools such as Jasper, Dall-E2, and VEED are all the rage but will come with a subscription price. Other tools such as ChatGPT can build first drafts of text while Grammarly can improve the quality of your writing, helping you go from idea to ready article faster.

While these are some ways in which GenAI can become your go-to work buddy, another key area in which it can serve as an ally is learning. As Bernard Marr says, “Generative AI makes a great tutor.” He suggests asking it to explain something and if you don’t understand it, to explain again in simpler terms or greater detail. Compare this – chatting with a tool to receive a ready answer – to having to type in search phrases and wading through multiple links to piece together information.

No wonder GenAI has dominated workplace conversations, eliciting reactions that range from surprise to delight to nervousness about potential job losses. Explore and embrace it, while understanding its limitations (yes, the technology is far from perfect), and you’ll have a tool that supports you as you adapt to the ever-changing VUCA world.

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