According to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, generative AI innovations are prompting professionals to adapt to new ways of working in Malaysia.
About seven in 10 professionals (70%) in Malaysia believe that there will be significant changes to their jobs next year due to AI.
About 1 in 2 (48%) Malaysian professionals revealed that their respective companies have already introduced guidelines or training on how to integrate AI in the workplace. In fact, over 1 in 2 (51%) of professionals said they are currently using AI in their jobs and tried AI tools like ChatGPT.
It’s no surprise that younger Gen Z and Millennials professionals (under the age of 34 years old) are leading the charge with the use of ChatGPT, with 55% having already done so at work.
While AI’s benefits for work are clear, 43% of local professionals said they are worried that they won’t be able to keep up with the pace of developments in AI, and 45% are concerned about being overwhelmed by the changes that AI will bring to their jobs.
Nevertheless, the majority of Malaysian professionals are willing to embrace the shift, with 63% of them expressing their interest in learning more about AI, even if they don’t know where to start.
Malaysians are demonstrating greater curiosity and enthusiasm for the future, with 55% of professionals feeling that they should know more about AI. This need to appear “in the know” might stem from how over 1 in 2 (52%) professionals in Malaysia believe that their colleagues are better versed in AI than they are.
The possibilities of AI at work are endless
Although there may be challenges to AI adoption, Malaysians are optimistic that AI will positively transform their careers. Malaysian professionals are most excited about AI’s ability to increase their productivity at work and hence a better work-life balance (55%).
Almost half of Malaysian professionals (48%) are also excited by the prospect of AI being able to free up more of their time, allowing them to do more high-value work to better showcase their abilities.
LinkedIn data shows a 21x global increase in English-language jobs mentioning new generative AI technologies such as Chat GPT, demonstrating that AI could be an important step for those looking to develop their career.
When asked how they think AI will help move their career forward, 66% of professionals said that it would make them more confident at work by giving them faster access to knowledge, while 47% stated that AI would help suggest what skills or training that they need.
Malaysian professionals believe that AI can contribute to more equitable career opportunities in the local workforce, with 47% saying that having AI-related skills can level the playing field, regardless of educational qualifications.
One in two Malaysian professionals (50%) also believe that AI will create more job opportunities outside larger cities because more can actively upskill in AI and leverage AI resources to work remotely.
Soft skills paired with AI skills are essential for the future
Malaysian professionals believe that AI will not only boost their access to the right knowledge and skill sets they need for work, but also spotlight the irreplaceable value of their human skills in career advancement.
Professionals in Malaysia think that skills such as problem-solving (69%), creativity (67%), and strategic thinking (67%) will become more important as AI tools become more widely used at work.
As AI can take away some of the drudgery of their daily jobs, 6 in 10 (61%) Malaysian professionals think that this will make their jobs easier, resulting in higher job satisfaction.
Professionals are also keen to invest their freed-up time in learning new job skills (50%), focus on more creative and strategic work (48%), and strengthening their professional networks (40%).
Rohit Kalsy, Country Manager for Malaysia, and Head of Growth Markets, South-east Asia at LinkedIn says, “This is undoubtedly an era of change with generative AI gaining more prominence in the workplace. While getting up to speed can be challenging, it is encouraging to see people focus on the positives that AI can bring to their working lives.”
“Over 8 in 10 (81%) professionals in Malaysia believe that it is likely AI will be an invisible teammate in the next five years, and with their time freed up, many are looking to invest in themselves by learning new skills, focusing on more creative and strategic work, and growing their professional network, all which are strong career boosters,” Rohit said.
“It’s also clear that professionals are eager to learn more about AI. We’re seeing a significant increase in conversations on LinkedIn, with members already adding AI skills to their profiles. However, our data also highlights the enormous value of soft skills and how imperative it is for professionals to continue leaning in on these skills such as critical thinking and teamwork as we navigate this new tech and changes ahead,” he added further.