5 minute read 24 Apr 2024
EY transforming workplace

How is AI transforming workplaces and empowering human talent

By Tim Bergin

EY Ireland People Consulting Partner

People and Innovation Leader. Passionate about transforming the people agenda. Proud family man.

5 minute read 24 Apr 2024
Related topics AI Workforce

AI is transforming workplaces—unlocking creativity and efficiency, and supporting human talents for a collaborative future across individuals, teams and organisations.

In brief
  • AI is redefining roles in the workplace, filling in gaps in creativity and teamwork, and prompting organisations to adapt for enhanced productivity.
  • By automating routine tasks, AI frees up employee time for complex, value-driven work, improving job satisfaction and focus on interpersonal skills.

How is AI transforming workplaces and empowering human talent

Gen AI may be perceived as a risk to human employment; however, it should be viewed as a catalyst for redefining the contribution of individuals in the professional environment.

Increased access to Gen AI is allowing workers to push the boundaries of their impact in the workplace by filling capability gaps in creativity, teaming and content generation with a new technology driven assistant. The challenge lies in strategically navigating our organisations towards embracing AI's advantages while unlocking workforce's potential and reaping the rewards of a significant workplace restructure.

Unlocking human potential through the use of Generative AI

Gen AI provides the ability to rethink how work is organised at an operating model and functional level, at a team level and at an individual level. As manual tasks become automated, this frees time and attention for the workforce to redirect their focus to complex, high-value activities, that are likely to be more focused on interpersonal interactions.

How can employers unlock the full potential of their workforce at the individual, team, and organisational level?


Individual workers have found themselves on the front lines of AI disruption meaning that organisations must consider the impact and the opportunity for the individual experience; including employee needs, aspirations, development requirements, and priorities. With 64% of people reporting that they struggle with having the time and energy to do their job (Microsoft WorkLab Work Trend Index, May 2023), Gen AI can be a welcome lever to bring the joy back to our work.

Gen AI technologies can help automate repetitive or low value tasks that once occupied a significant portion of an employee's time. In fact, 70% of people would delegate as much as possible to AI to lessen their workloads (Microsoft WorkLab Work Trend Index, May 2023) if given the opportunity. For example, process automation can reduce the need for manual data entry and thus allow staff to delegate low level tasks to machines and free up time to focus on strategic, creative activities.

EY conducted a study with the aim of rigorously appraising the transformative potential of M365 Copilot. Our research found that 82% of EY testers reported that M365 Copilot will enable faster task completion, with 66% of EY testers reporting more time to focus on tasks which bring more satisfaction.

Organisations implementing AI tools should consider how this capacity as well as specific AI tools can be used to the benefit of the individual. For example, AI can develop targeted learning journeys to help upskill employees at the individual level, enabling learning interventions that are tailored to individual needs while also providing personalised learning paths. This level of customisation boosts learning effectiveness, while encouraging employees to enhance their skills and knowledge regularly. This shift not only maximises productivity but also boosts employees’ morale and job satisfaction.


AI is a proven catalyst for relational experiences, how we interact with colleagues and customers, how we collaborate and get work done. There is a 33% net positive sentiment of employers and employees who believe Gen AI will boost productivity and new ways of working, and an even greater 44% net positive of those who expect the technology to enable greater flexible working. (Workforce Reimagined 2023).

AI can aid in team communication and the efficient distribution of tasks. For example, virtual reality and augmented reality are transforming collaboration and communication within teams. They allow real-time collaboration with people across the globe, facilitating richer conversations, skill sharing and exposure to other areas of the organisation.

Aside from additional capacity, AI systems can provide insights into team performance, sentiment and connection by tracking and analysing data. This provides employers with information relating to how the team is feeling through survey feedback and offers insight into their team’s experience. This can help promote a productive, collaborative environment, enabling employers to proactively address employee issues.


The adoption of AI at an organisational level can revolutionise our current ways of working from front-line customer facing functions, to operations and corporate functions such as finance and HR. The transformative impact can be seen on all fronts, demonstrating potential to improve not only efficiency and effectiveness, but also employee experience.

Notable examples such as the below, demonstrate the rounded positive impact we can expect to see if Gen AI is used responsibly, and thoughtful consideration is given to the workforce impact and opportunity.

  • Using Gen AI to predict consumer needs can help organisations to refine their stock systems and supply chain to ensure products are ready at the point of need, rather than stock piling and incurring unnecessary storage costs. This use case can also free up time for consumer facing staff to have more considered conversations with their customers about potential future purchasing needs.
  •  Gen AI driven chat bots can be used in corporate functions to deal with common policy or procedural queries, improving the efficiency and the standardisation of responses that employees receive to the same questions. This frees up time for employees to focus on the human interaction and improving the quality of experience when dealing with traditional corporate functions like HR and Finance.

It is clear, from an individual, team, and organisational perspective, that AI’s role is pivotal in the evolution of the workforce and the increasing requirement for upskilling and reskilling. Success lies in the coming together of emerging technologies and vital human interventions; releasing the power of technology while emphasising the importance of what makes work human.


While AI's rapid proliferation might trigger fear of unprecedented changes in the working environment, organisations must remember that by embracing AI and investing in the upskilling of their workforce, they are fostering a collaborative partnership between human creativity and artificial intelligence.

About this article

By Tim Bergin

EY Ireland People Consulting Partner

People and Innovation Leader. Passionate about transforming the people agenda. Proud family man.

Related topics AI Workforce