• Irina Stănică, Counsel |
6 mins read

The role of artificial intelligence (”AI”) at the workplace is increasingly important today and new technology has considerable implications for labour relationships. AI has the potential to transform the way any business operates by delivering increased efficiency, productivity and cost savings. Thus, the future of work is highly affected by AI in several ways, such as:

Automation of repetitive tasks which leads to work efficiency, greater productivity and more creativity

AI can be used to automate frequent repetitive tasks, as technology can analyse a very large number of algorithms, documents and data, as well as carrying out a wide range of simple or more complex activities. This will ensure employees have more time to carry out more important or difficult work-related activities and allow them to increase their creativity.

Moreover, automation of repetitive tasks will help employees to finish their work more quickly, thus leading to increased productivity and efficiency. According to a study carried out by Accenture, which is mentioned in the Guide to Artificial Intelligence at the workplace developed by the European Economic and Social Committee (the ”Guide”), productivity at work could be improved by 40% with the help of artificial intelligence by 2035[1].

Improving human work by reducing human errors

AI has the capacity to catch some issues people might overlook, such as inaccuracies in a text, code or in data analysis, storage or reporting. Common human errors include misplacing files, presenting inaccurate or incomplete information or using incorrect calculations and formulae. Thus, through the use of AI, human work can be improved, errors can be reduced and a higher quality of work can be achieved. 

Cost reduction

A decrease in certain costs arises when AI is used, as businesses can benefit from a reduction in the need for office space and related costs such as rent or facilities. Moreover, AI can reduce paper costs, because less paper is used for printing, while physical document storage space can also be reduced, as documents are stored in digital formats rather than on paper. Not only is it simpler to store documents digitally, but also it is much easier to search for a specific document when it is in digital format.

Changing the work environment

As the use of AI increases, it will transform the traditional workplace, and this will create a demand for certain new skills for employees. Both employers and employees need to invest in programs to ensure employees will remain relevant in their particular line of work, as some traditional job positions may become obsolete. On the other hand, AI also creates new job positions and offers employment opportunities in fields that have never been imagined before. Creativity, teamwork and problem solving will be important as AI takes on an increasingly important role and employees need to know how to integrate it into their daily work tasks.


Closely related to flexibility comes the relatively new concept of remote working, as AI provides the possibility for both employers and employees to work remotely by using technology such as Teams, Zoom, e-mail etc.

According to a Survey report from May 2023 carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (the ”CIPD Survey report”),  40% of employers have seen an increase in formal requests for flexible working following the pandemic and 39% say they will be more likely to grant requests for flexible working, besides working from home, compared with before the pandemic[2].Furthermore, the CIPD Survey report shows that 66% of organisations believe that it is important to provide flexible working as an option when advertising jobs and 83% of organisations have hybrid working in place[3].

From another perspective, employers need to implement some specific measures at company level to combat the side effects of AI in labour relationships, such as:

Integrating AI into the company`s way of doing business

Businesses need to make significant investments in technology, as well as in people who have the expertise to build and maintain AI systems to integrate AI into employees` daily work activities. Moreover, as some teams gain expertise in AI, the company should encourage them to share their best practices with other employees who are not accustomed to it. 

Improving employees` AI skills

Businesses must make continuous efforts to improve employees` AI skills by implementing special programs while also investing in workplace tools, offering training and learning opportunities for employees, using online resources available and encouraging employees to combine their knowledge with their AI skills. Consequently, businesses should prepare employees for AI at the workplace and provide support for them to understand the impact it will have on their daily activities and the business, so they can use technology effectively.

Establishing AI governance in a responsible way

The employer must establish functional AI governance to define AI policies, guidelines and best practices, to set up a clear process for implementation of AI and its use as well as regularly to assess the AI tools implemented and to be always on the lookout for new technologies that will be suitable for the company. Moreover, the employer must establish clear principles and a well-defined set of rules within the company on the use of technology with respect to protecting the privacy of employees. Another important measure is encouraging social dialogue to identify potential issues employees may face in relation to artificial intelligence.


Moreover, at European Union level, a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting out harmonised rules on artificial intelligence (the ”Artificial intelligence act”), and amending certain EU legislation, has been drafted, but not yet implemented. It provides guidelines to ensure the safety, and legal certainty of AI systems on the EU market and its compliance with regulations, as well as to promote adherence to fundamental rights and EU values and enforcement of governing laws on AI safety.

The Artificial intelligence act provides some ideas on the AI systems used in employment, stating that some AI systems may be classified as high-risk as they may have an impact on future career prospects and livelihoods of some people at the recruitment and selection stage, and also when decisions on promotions and termination of employment are made. Such AI systems could also influence task allocation, as well as monitoring or evaluation of people in work-related contractual relationships[4].

In the context of work-related relationships, using AI systems in recruitment processes, evaluation, promotion or retention may rise concerns about the perpetuation of historical patterns of discrimination that may affect mostly women, certain age groups, people with disabilities or people with certain racial or ethnic origins or sexual orientation. Furthermore, use of AI to monitor the performance and behaviour of these people may generate potential issues in terms of data protection and privacy[5].

Finally, while there are some risks related to implementing AI at a company level, we currently live in a world of increased technological processes where everyone must adapt to create a workplace which is secure for the growth of the business and the well-being of employees, as AI takes an increasingly important role. It is consequently important always to balance the use of AI with the human touch in labour relationships.

[1] European Economic and Social Committee, A guide to Artificial Intelligence at the workplace, pg. 2;

[2] CIPD, Survey report from May 2023 on Flexible and hybrid working practices in 2023, employer and employee perspectives, pg. 3;

[3] CIPD, Survey report from May 2023 on Flexible and hybrid working practices in 2023, employer and employee perspectives, pg. 6;

[4] European Commission, Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence (Artificial intelligence act) and amending certain Union legislative acts, pg. 26;

[5] European Commission, Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on artificial intelligence (Artificial intelligence act) and amending certain Union legislative acts, pg. 26-27.

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