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Adobe recently conducted a study on Indian knowledge workers to explore their perspectives on digital technology and its influence on productivity. The report, titled “The Future of Digital Work: India,” sheds light on the factors shaping productivity, the essential digital tools like AI, and the processes crucial for fostering a productive and satisfied workforce.
The study highlights a significant level of digital literacy among Indian knowledge workers, as 82% signifies that digital technologies play a vital role in their daily tasks. Approximately 8 out of 10 individuals rate their digital literacy levels higher than the global average.
Among digital technologies, knowledge workers identify digital documents (76%), collaboration-supporting technology (73%), and video conferencing (67%) as the most essential. As hybrid work becomes more prevalent, leaders increasingly rely on collaboration and video conferencing, whereas employees prefer instant messaging platforms and digital approval tools for their communication and workflow needs. Despite the growing adoption of digital technologies, paper-based work exists in many workplaces. Over half (55%) of knowledgeable workers indicate that at least half of their work involves paper, with only 12% claiming to be entirely paperless.
Generative AI advances work processes, streamlines tasks, and produces high-quality output. However, only 59% of respondents state that their companies currently use generative AI. The survey highlights that 88% of workers anticipate its regular use in the future. Although 88% of knowledge workers and 94% of leaders believe their companies should use generative AI, 6% of respondents express hesitancy due to concerns about security, resistance from executives, and a lack of understanding.
AI has transformed the work environment for 57% of employees, with 64% of respondents acknowledging its positive impact. Research indicates that more businesses have incorporated AI solutions than the workforce knows, leading to leaders experiencing increased speed, time efficiency, and reduced mundane activities.
In the workplace, Indians are reshaping productivity by prioritizing impact over volume and speed. Productivity, for knowledge workers, is linked with impactful work, as emphasized by 90% of employees. The prospect of a 4-day work week is a potential booster of productivity. External factors, such as inflation, affect 74% of Indian knowledge workers. Recognizing the importance of digital tools for productivity, 89% of knowledge workers acknowledge their importance, while 24% express that poor technology negatively impacts productivity.
Poor technology tools can adversely affect productivity, financial performance, and talent retention, according to 93% of leaders and 87% of employees. Leaders report a daily loss of 2-4 hours due to poor technology, resulting in up to 25 weeks of lost productivity per year. A substantial 44% of workers believe poor technology negatively impacts profitability by 20% or more. Responding to this, 62% of employees intend to seek a tech-based solution independently, 14% would explore alternative job opportunities, and 16% would ‘quiet quit’. Alarmingly, 40% of employees are leaving their current jobs within the next six months due to dissatisfaction with technology. Technology access is critical for knowledge workers when accepting a job offer.