AI has forced its way into our daily lives: from helping us execute mundane tasks, like planning healthy meals for the week, to more complex uses in the financial services sector

Inevitably, it has found its way into the workplace, where it has become an invisible 12th man. 

The results of a recent client survey demonstrated that use of chatbots for work purposes is now commonplace. But whether or not employers are aware that AI is being used by their employees, it’s important to be mindful of the risks and the steps that need to be taken to mitigate them.

Crunching the numbers

While some are exploring new ways to leverage the potential of AI beyond the hype, many recognise the advantages that this technology can bring in increasing productivity and efficiency in the workplace. 

This was confirmed by the overwhelming majority of employers we surveyed. Indeed, almost 90% of them predicted that AI will bring change, whether in the form of new working techniques, developments in the scope of roles or wider reorganisation. 

An ever-increasing number of organisations are already harnessing the potential of GenAI tools in the workplace. 

However, given the complex issues associated with AI tools, others have chosen to block access to the application on work devices. Despite this, almost 80% of the organisations believe that informal use of chatbots for work purposes was taking place.

The prevalence of unsanctioned use underlines the importance of implementing a workplace Gen AI policy, to avoid exposure to the myriad risks associated with using such tools without appropriate guardrails in place. 

So, what can employers do to mitigate those risks?

Riding the wave of digital change

Technological innovation has the potential to disrupt the way we work, and this is particularly true for AI. 

The approach we decide to take to manage this innovation will depend on the market and internal structure of the organisation, but there are some common steps that all of us can take to mitigate the risk and harvest its potential. 

For example, maintaining an open channel with staff and clearly stating the organisation's approach to AI is one step that can be taken to reduce the shock created by the widespread adoption of AI. 

Read more in our Employment team’s recent insight: AI in the workplace: evolution or revolution?