KPMG Survey: Workers Not Threatened by Generative AI; Want Upskilling
On Jun 8, 2023
U.S. white collar professionals do not see emerging tech-like generative AI as an immediate threat to their jobs, but also desire more opportunities to upskill in AI—including generative AI—from their current employers, according to a recent survey conducted by KPMG LLP.
The survey considered insights from 1,035 white-collar workers across regions, ages and demographics on the latest trends impacting the workforce. The survey revealed key perspectives on emerging tech as well as generational differences across categories.
Less than half (43%) of respondents cite concern that generative AI is an immediate threat to their jobs and only 19% are highly concerned that generative AI will make their role irrelevant.
40% feel that they have more than a year before generative AI makes their role irrelevant, but 11%—largely consisting of those in the tech sector—feel it is already happening.
Concern that emerging tech like generative AI will make their roles less relevant is highest among active job seekers, with 56% citing that they are extremely or very concerned.
Among those concerned with generative AI, half (50%) are considering moving to a job that offers a less direct threat from emerging tech like generative AI.
Millennials (48%) and Gen Z (44%) are most worried about the role that generative AI will play in the careers, citing that they are extremely or very concerned; Gen X (39%) and Boomers (35%) are less worried.
Talent is generally happy with opportunities to upskill in their current roles. The exception is AI upskilling, including generative AI—with just 42% saying that their company does a good or excellent job with this.
“Generative AI adds another layer of change to a workplace environment that continues to transform at a rapid pace,” said Sandy Torchia, KPMG vice chair of talent & culture. “During times of rapid change, it is critical that employers listen to their people and act on that feedback, while ensuring they continue to upskill and develop them.”
New work models: A shorter workweek with longer days
82% of employees would be interested in a 10-hour, 4-day workweek, and nearly half (47%) see it as highly appealing.
Mid-level employees (67%) are most interested in a 10-hour, 4-day workweek, followed by senior- level employees (60%) and entry-level employees (59%).
Millennials, Gen X and Boomers are all more likely than Gen Z to find a 10-hour, 4 day work week highly appealing—however, interest is unanimous across the generations, as the majority (55%) of Gen Z find it highly appealing.
Generational differences in attitudes toward workplace benefits
Most talent (59%) do not consider perks very important in their current role or when evaluating a new job. However, Millennials are more likely to care about perks than other generations.
Gen Z employees have less interest in perks like free lunches and gym reimbursements compared to their older counterparts. They care more about online courses to learn new skills (41%) and mental well-being (35%).
Mindset of the jobseeker in the current economic environment
Amidst continued economic uncertainty, almost half of employees (44%) are open to changing jobs and about a third (30%) are actively looking to do so.
Optimism among jobseekers is high—with two-thirds (67%) believing that their search will take 6 months or less and most feeling that they will find a new job that meets their expectations.
Those in the tech sector are most likely to be actively looking for a new job, but the majority (53%) expect their search will be brief (6 months or less).
A higher salary (10%+ increase) is by far the biggest motivator for changing jobs, and improved work- life balance in the form of scheduling flexibility and paid leave options ranks close behind.
Among those jobseekers looking to switch industries, the tech sector holds the most interest (40%) followed by finance (26%) and healthcare (26%).
Workers desire growth opportunities within their organizations
Half are dissatisfied with their current opportunities to take on new roles or advance within their organization—and less than quarter of employers are making material efforts to improve in these areas.
A majority (78%) of employees said that they value a clearly defined process for career mobility— defined as the ability to move around within a company laterally or horizontally into different roles and career paths—when considering a job change.
Of those who reported that they didn’t understand the career mobility options available to them, 40% cited a lack of training, education and mentorship opportunities and 33% noted a lack of prioritization on the part of the employer.
85% of Millennials—more than any other generation—are interested in career mobility.