Companies must prepare employees for an AI-supported future

Artificial intelligence and other technologies have the potential to reshape work in a way not seen since the industrial revolution. ChatGPT and co. have made AI an everyday topic of conversation. A study now shows that employees are expecting a rethink.

(Symbolic image: pikisuperstar/Freepik)

The world of work has changed rapidly in recent years - so much so that employees may not be able to keep up. To better understand the impact of digital transformation and technological progress on the world of work, ServiceNow and Opinium surveyed 5,500 employees across the EMEA region - 500 of them from Switzerland - about their perceptions of technology. The results also highlight the desire of Swiss employees for further training to prepare them for the working world of the future: 40 percent of employees say that their training has not prepared them for work; 18 percent wish they had taken a different career path and, at 53 percent, more than half would like to better understand today's technologies.

On the way to the working world of the future, it is important to think about what the new ways of working mean for the employees who are experiencing this change. Otherwise, there is a risk that their Employee Experience is negatively influenced, according to those responsible for the study.

AI plays a key role

Will AI play a key role in the future world of work? According to the study, AI is already shaping the everyday working life of the average employee. Swiss employees are already using AI in three areas in particular - or are at least planning to do so. For 81%, AI can support brainstorming and creative idea generation. For 79 percent, it is used to create Excel formulas. And 78% see AI as a useful tool for writing emails or posts for social media.

More than half (57 %) of respondents in Switzerland believe that AI will have a positive impact on productivity in the workplace. The statement that AI is the greatest opportunity for the future of work was agreed by 49%.

For companies, this means that AI will have a major impact on the way work is done today and in the years to come. Those who want to remain competitive, productive and agile should focus on the positive attitude of employees towards AI and use the technology wherever possible.

(Graphics: Servicenow/Opinium Research)

Swiss employees do not trust their skills

Although employees recognize the potential productivity gains of AI solutions, the survey shows that they still lack confidence in their own abilities.

In Switzerland, 44% of respondents feel that they do not have all the technical skills required to work with AI systems. Similarly, 31% believe that they need further training in order to keep pace with technological developments in their careers as part of the digital transformation. Companies investing in new technologies need to take this into account. There's no point spending valuable budget on expensive AI solutions if your employees don't have the skills - or confidence - to use them properly.

Employees are willing to undergo further training

Despite a lack of self-confidence, Swiss employees recognize the importance of digital skills and are actively seeking to develop their skills. 69% of respondents believe that digital skills are a decisive advantage in working life, and 56% believe that AI should be a compulsory subject in schools before the age of 19. AI and coding skills should be taught in schools to better prepare the next generation. These results suggest that employees are clearly interested in improving the skills needed for a successful future. It can be assumed that such training would be well received in Switzerland.

(Graphics: Servicenow/Opinium Research)

Managers play a decisive role  

When it comes to teaching digital skills, the study puts the onus on managers. More than two thirds (67 %) of Swiss employees believe that their employers have a responsibility to promote the development of AI skills in the workplace.

According to the study, it is therefore up to managers to act now. The aim should be to find a practical learning and development strategy that provides employees with the necessary skills to work with AI systems. In addition, managers must also ensure that their employees are given the time and space to make the best use of what they have learned. At present, more than half (51 %) of those surveyed still find it difficult to incorporate the further development of their digital skills into their day-to-day work.

Companies should use initiatives to promote accessible and convenient digital training. This could be achieved through partnerships and training opportunities, for example. Managers who do not embrace new ways of working risk their workforce not being properly prepared for the working world of the future.


The study shows that employees are optimistic about the opportunities opened up by AI and other new technologies - if they are trained accordingly and the introduction of AI is driven forward professionally. Managers play an important role here. One thing is clear: companies that integrate digital skills into a solid learning and development strategy have the chance to be successful in the long term - and to allow their employees to share in this success.

For the study ServiceNow with Opinium Research to conduct the survey of 5,500 employees in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Sweden and Switzerland. From Switzerland, 500 participants were surveyed. The study was conducted between October 3 and 9, 2023.

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