Microsoft releases new research on how AI will change the way we work, introduces Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program 


Microsoft has released new Work Trend Index insights for leaders and employees, and announced it is bringing Microsoft 365 Copilot to more customers  

MANILA, Philippines, 11 May 2023 — Earlier this year, Microsoft Corp. introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot, which will bring powerful new generative AI capabilities to apps millions of people use every day like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Microsoft Teams and more. The company has now announced it is expanding access to the Microsoft 365 Copilot preview and introducing new features. The company also released new data and insights from its 2023 Work Trend Index report: “Will AI Fix Work?”  

The 2023 Work Trend Index surveyed 31,000 people across industries in 31 countries including 14 Asia Pacific markets such as the Philippines, Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Trillions of signals from emails, meetings, and chats across Microsoft 365 were also analyzed, along with labor trends on LinkedIn.  

The data shows that the pace of work has accelerated faster than humans can keep up, and it’s impacting innovation. Next-generation AI will lift the weight of work. Organizations that move first to embrace AI will break the cycle — increasing creativity and productivity for everyone.  

“AI represents a whole new way of working, as it moves from autopilot to copilot, freeing us from digital debt and fuelling innovation,” said Peter Maquera, Microsoft Philippines CEO. “As work evolves with AI, so must we. Employees across Asia Pacific are optimistic about AI, as our Work Trend Index research suggests 78% of people in this region would delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. The most pressing opportunity and responsibility for every leader is to understand how to leverage AI to remove the drudgery of work, unleash creativity, and build AI aptitude.”  

The report shares three key insights for business leaders as they look to understand and responsibly adopt AI for their organization:  

1. Digital debt is costing us innovation: We’re all carrying digital debt: The volume of data, emails and chats has outpaced our ability to process it all. There is an opportunity to make our existing communications more productive. Every minute spent managing this digital debt is a minute not spent on creative work. 72% of people in Asia Pacific say they don’t have enough time and energy to get their work done, and those people are 3x more likely to say they struggled with being innovative. Of the time spent in Microsoft 365, the average person spends 57% communicating and only 43% creating. And the #1 productivity disruption is inefficient meetings.    

In the Philippines, this challenge is just as prevalent, with 72% of workers also finding difficulty in accomplishing their tasks. However, these workers are 5x more likely to say they struggle with innovation and strategic thinking. This lack of innovation is a concern shared by nearly 3 in 4 Filipino leaders who fear that their teams may not be producing enough breakthrough ideas. 

“With the pace of work intensifying, digital debt has become more than just an inconvenience; it is now a significant obstacle to creativity and innovation,” said Maquera. “This indicates the need to embrace the new generation of AI to unlock productivity and creativity for everyone—paving the way for a new wave of productivity growth and value creation.” 

2. There’s a new AI-employee alliance: While 58% of our respondents in Asia Pacific say they’re worried AI will replace their jobs, even more – 78% – would delegate as much work as possible to AI in order to lessen their workloads. In Asia Pacific, 3 in 4 people would be comfortable using AI not just for administrative tasks but also analytical work and creative aspects of their role. Meanwhile, Managers are 1.9x more likely to say that AI would be most valuable in their workplace by boosting productivity rather than cutting headcount.   

Interestingly, the data also shows that Filipino business leaders are 3.2x more likely to believe that AI can enhance productivity rather than eliminate jobs. However, 52% of Filipino workers still express concern that AI may replace their jobs, while 78% are open to delegating work to AI to ease their workload. 

3. Every employee needs AI aptitude: Every employee, not just AI experts, will need new core competencies such as prompt engineering in their day-to-day. 85% of leaders in Asia Pacific anticipate employees will need new skills in the AI era. And 71% of people in Asia Pacific say currently they don’t have the right capabilities to get their work done.   

This trend is also evident in the Philippines, where 86% of Filipino leaders believe that the employees they hire will need new skills to be prepared for the growth of Al, while 58% of Filipino workers say they don’t currently have the right capabilities to get their work done. 

“It has become critical for the government and local businesses to jointly work towards investing in AI-focused upskilling and reskilling initiatives, enabling employees to adopt new ways of working. Doing so will not only augment the workforce’s capabilities but also help their organizations to thrive in this rapidly evolving business landscape,” explained Maquera. 

To empower businesses in the AI era, Microsoft is also introducing the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program with an initial wave of 600 enterprise customers worldwide in an invitation-only paid preview program. In addition, the following new capabilities will be added to Microsoft 365 Copilot and Microsoft Viva:  

  • Copilot in Whiteboard will make Microsoft Teams meetings and brainstorms more creative and effective. Using natural language, you can ask Copilot to generate ideas, organize ideas into themes, create designs that bring ideas to life, and summarize Whiteboard content.  
  • By integrating DALL-E, OpenAI’s image generator, into Copilot in PowerPoint, users will be able to ask Copilot to create custom images to support their content.  
  •  Copilot in Outlook will offer coaching tips and suggestions on clarity, sentiment and tone to help users write more effective emails and communicate more confidently.  
  • Copilot in OneNote will use prompts to draft plans, generate ideas, create lists and organize information to help customers find what they need easily.  
  • Copilot in Viva Learning will use a natural language chat interface to help users create a personalized learning journey including designing upskilling paths, discovering relevant learning resources and scheduling time for assigned trainings.  

To help every customer get AI-ready, Microsoft is also introducing the Semantic Index for Copilot, a new capability we’re starting to roll out to all Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers. To learn more, visit the Official Microsoft Blog, Microsoft 365 Blog and the new Work Trend Index.  

*Asia Pacific markets in the study include Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.  

For more information, please contact: 

Microsoft Philippines 
Josh Aquino  
[email protected]  

Ogilvy Manila 
Shayne Gualin / Trix Catly  [email protected] / [email protected] 

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