Over the past three years, the pace and intensity of work have skyrocketed. People are struggling to do their jobs while grappling with always-on communications, inefficient meetings, and information overload. “Sixty-four percent of people told us that they felt like they didn’t have the time or the energy to do their jobs,” says Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of modern work and business applications.

Can AI help lift the burden? In this conversation, Spataro and Colette Stallbaumer, general manager of Microsoft 365 and Future of Work, discuss Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index report , which explores these dilemmas through surveys of 31,000 people in 31 countries and trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with labor trends from the LinkedIn Economic Graph. They also share their experiences using the recently announced AI tool Microsoft 365 Copilot to work more efficiently.

Spataro and Stallbaumer’s conversation is the seventh episode for season 4 of Microsoft’s WorkLab podcast, in which business leaders, economists, designers, psychologists, and technologists explore the data and insights into why and how work is changing.

Three big takeaways from this conversation:

  1. Survey respondents suggest that there is both concern and excitement about how AI could transform work. “About 50 percent of people said that they were worried about AI taking their jobs,” Spataro notes, “but an amazing 70 percent said that despite that, they’d be willing to essentially delegate as much as possible to some sort of AI assistant to help them out at work.”

  2. Both Spataro and Stallbaumer have been using Microsoft 365 Copilot , which brings AI to work. They share preliminary insights on how it’s changing their work experience. “I love using Copilot in the context of meetings,” Spataro says. “At first, I thought it was just a fun thing to do, but it’s like having an incredible assistant listening closely to the dynamics of meetings. Sometimes I’ll ask Copilot, What are the different sides of this debate, and can you summarize them for me? Who’s on what side?”

  3. “This moment in AI is no different than the shift to remote and flexible work,” Stallbaumer says. “Leaders and organizations will really need to be thoughtful about how to prepare culturally for this shift, and how to help employees feel comfortable learning to work alongside an AI copilot that helps you throughout your day.”

Follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Here’s a transcript of the episode 7 conversation.

MARY MELTON: This is WorkLab , the podcast from Microsoft. I’m your host, Mary Melton. On WorkLab , we hear from leading thinkers on the future of work. Economists, technologists, researchers—they all share surprising data and explore the trends transforming the way we work. 

JARED SPATARO: It is one of those things where I think seeing is believing, and that’s what has been most interesting about the moment we find ourselves in; you know, you give it a try and people think, Wow, I can see this will really change how I work and how work will be done.