Kathy Gibson reports – So often we talk about artificial intelligence (AI) in general terms, as an abstract concept that is somehow peripheral to our lives.

But the reality is that it could have a profound effect on the way we live and work, says Michelle Olivier, Microsoft product manager at Pinnacle, speaking to SME resellers at a Pinnacle event today.

“Most of us are suffering from a time and energy deficiency,” she explains. “Our environment is evolving quicker than we can keep pace with. So we need to find ways to refund time.”

The brutal result of this deficiency is that work inevitably suffers. A massive 84% of employees say high performance is only achieved with the right amount of time and energy. But 64% say they have struggled in the last year with finding enough time and energy to get their jobs done.

And those 64% are two times more likely to leave their job and three times more likely to struggle to work effectively.

Olivier says the villains in creating this deficiency are broken meetings, an information labyrinth, and the blank page.

Research shows that people lacking time and energy are 2-times more like to say they struggle with too many meetings (the broken meeting); they are 2,5-times more likely to say the struggle with spending too much time looking for information (the information labyrinth); and they are 2,5-times more likely to battle to focus (the blank page).


The broken meeting

Receiving the information they need is the number one reason for employee to join a meeting.

But just one in three think they would be missed if they didn’t join; and 55% say the next steps at the end of the meeting are unclear.

AI can help to change this. Studies show that employees using Copilot catch up on a meeting 3,8-times faster and the meeting summarisation is 58% less draining.

A massive 81% agree that Copilot makes it easier to get the information they needed; and 84% say it makes it easier to take action after the meeting.


Information labyrinth

A staggering statistic is that heavy email users spend the equivalent of an entire work day per week on email – 8,8 hours.

But just 50% of the information they consume each day is thought to be necessary for their jobs.

Using Copilot, it’s estimated that information can be retrieved 27% faster, saving them more than 10 minutes per mail. And users say it saves even more time by filing emails and documents correctly.


The blank page

One luxury that most users lack is the time to actually do the tasks they need to – 65% of employees say they don’t have enough uninterrupted focus time to do their work; and 67% say they don’t have enough time to reset between work tasks.

This contributes to making them feel uninspired, which is ranked as the top productivity disrupter.

But AI can change this, says Olivier.

Using Copilot, users find they can write a blog 65% faster with Copilot.

Even writing emails is not only quicker but more effective: asked to rate the quality of emails, users found those written by Copilot were 18% clearer, and 19% more concise.

And 85% of Copilot users say it helps them get to a good first draft faster.



Taken together, using AI tools like Copilot can help users to free up 10 hours or more in a month. “How we use our refunded time and energy could reshape the future of work,” Olivier believes.

“Those 10 hours per month saved could be used to take an international flight, a full day meeting with the team, or 10 walks with the dog.

“The interesting thing is that 50% of individuals put that time back to focused work.”