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Some workers using AI are worried that colleagues will see them as ‘lazy’ and ‘frauds,' survey finds

AI use is fast becoming the norm in the workplace, but some workers are still worried that they'll receive flak if their colleagues find out.

AI firm Anthropic and work management platform Asana released their new 2024 State of AI at Work report on Wednesday, which surveyed 5,007 knowledge workers in the U.S. and U.K. about their view of AI adoption in the workplace. Knowledge workers can be roughly described as expert white-collar workers who use analytical skills.

It found that over a quarter of workers surveyed were concerned that they'd be perceived as "lazy" if they used AI at work. Another 23% said they were afraid of being labeled "frauds" for using AI at work.

And a third said they're worried that AI will replace humans altogether.

This is partly because companies are not providing clear guidelines around AI use in the workplace, Rebecca Hinds, head of Asana's Work Innovation Lab, told CNBC Make It in an interview.

"That's where we start to see the fear of the perception of laziness, the fear of the perception of feeling like a fraud most significantly, because the organizational context is not conducive to facilitating an environment where people feel empowered to use AI," Hinds said.

Overall, generative AI adoption in the workplace is up, both in the U.S. and the U.K., according to the survey.

In the U.S., 57% of workers are using generative AI tools weekly, a jump from 46% just nine months ago. In the U.K., 48% of workers are using generative AI tools weekly — compared with 29% nine months ago.

Around 60% of workers across the U.S. and U.K. expect to use generative AI even more in the coming six months.

The high adoption rate is largely because workers are seeing improved productivity with 69% reporting higher