(Study) Employers think ChatGPT means +74% productivity: 51% of resulting job losses in marketing
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(Study) Employers think ChatGPT means +74% productivity: 51% of resulting job losses in marketing

2022 was arguably a tough year for the tech industry. Along with the collapse of crypto and 152,000 people losing their jobs, innovation almost seemed to be at a standstill.

But in early December of last year, OpenAI threw out what seemed to be a lifeline for some, a threat to others, in the form of “ChatGPT.”

Those of us who have tested it may have wondered “is this the end of my career?” Some of us may have thought right, but others might not be aware that upper management have ideas with ChatGPT that may no longer involve humans…

In this Marketing Report:

As OpenAI begins to pilot ChatGPT Professional, at Sortlist, we surveyed 500 employees and employers users in 6 different countries to find out how they feel about ChatGPT’s appearance in the workforce, how much they would be willing to pay for it, and whether they see it as a threat or opportunity.


Industry predicted to see most jobs cuts due to the rise ChatGPT


Number of employers who want to hire ChatGPT as a marketing copywriter


Millennials are 43% more worried about job cuts than other generations

Software and tech: 26% of employers plan job cuts due to ChatGPT

According to our study, 23% of employees working in the software and tech industry are worried about losing their job because of ChatGPT.  Maybe they should be, as 26% of employers in the same industry are thinking about reducing headcount as a direct result.  

For employees in education, there is no need to be too worried. Though 31% of these employees fear job cuts, perhaps understandable given the examples we’ve all seen from the education sector, they are almost 2x more likely than their employers to think ChatGPT will reduce headcount.

employers on how chatGPT will affect headcount

Finance employees: 70% more at risk than they expect

Finance is the second-biggest industry where employees and employers have differing views on how ChatGPT will reduce headcount. Employees in the finance industry do not see ChatGPT as a threat, although they should.  

headcount reductions with ChatGPT in finance

Only 14% of employees in the finance sector fear that ChatGPT will be used to reduce headcounts and costs in their company. However, 22% of employers in finance consider this an option if they were to introduce ChatGPT into their business.

IT stays human, marketing gets automated: 51% of those planning to cut will do so in marketing

On a departmental level, employees in product management and customer service departments are 2x more likely to worry about their jobs than marketers…but marketers are the ones who are most at risk. 

Although employers may look into ChatGPT consulting services before making their final decisions, according to our data, 51% of employers who are considering reducing headcount believe that ChatGPT would be implemented into their marketing and PR departments. Is an unforeseen wave of marketing layoffs is coming? Only a quarter of employees in those departments envision reduced headcounts in their organization.

job loss vs planned cuts with ChatGPT

Although employees and employers have different opinions on where jobs may be impacted by ChatGPT, both groups agree that the chatbot has potential in marketing copy. Still, marketing employees may not have grasped just how many employers are ready to use the bot. 

43% of employers want to hire ChatGPT as a marketing copywriter compared to 36% of employees who see the chatbot as having a role in this area.

Millennials in both tech and finance are 2.4x more likely to worry about ChatGPT taking their job 

Across all sectors, millennials are 43% more worried about job cuts in their industry, however, the number significantly increases when it comes to those working in software and tech.  

employee likelihood to predict job loss chatGPT

Within the industry however, most millennials that fear these job cuts imagine ChatGPT being used mostly for writing purposes rather than coding such as answering customer questions (50%), and outreaching potential clients (38%)

millennial job loss fears with ChatGPT

Similarly, in finance, millennial employees are 2.4x more likely to be worried about job cuts compared to other generations in the same field. 67% of them believe that the chatbot could have an impact on those writing marketing copy, but also, the same amount of millennials believe it could impact employees who analyze data.  

millennial fears of job loss in finance

Employers predict an average of 74% productivity increase, employees 66%

Most employees (32%) see an increased productivity range of 25-50% and so do employers (33%) but the latter see an average productivity boost slightly above that of their employees.

predicted productivity gains with ChatGPT

Employees who predict the biggest productivity gains would use ChatGPT for coding, employers in marketing

Out of employees who believe ChatGPT could at least double their productivity, 45% would use it for coding tasks, and 38% of them think it would be most beneficial for IT and engineering departments.

However, only 31% of employers believe that coding would see such a significant benefit from the chatbot. 

predicted productivity with ChatGPT

On the other hand, 41% of employers expect ChatGPT to double their productivity in marketing and PR departments and would use it for writing marketing copy as well.

50% of employees who feel their work productivity could increase 2x or even 3x are from Gen Z

58% of 18-24-year-olds believe that ChatGPT would at least double their productivity in answering customer questions. 50% believe it would be most useful for writing code and generating non-marketing copy.

generational productivity ChatGPT

More human than ever, but 39% fear a loss of human touch with ChatGPT

While survey respondents indicated enthusiasm for the potential productivity gains with ChatGPT, nearly 39% expressed concern about a loss of human touch.

And tellingly 46% of those who share this fear imagine ChatGPT being mostly used in customer service.

downside of using chatGPT

37% of employers who would use ChatGPT for customer service work in the software and tech industry.  Of that number, 72% are afraid of a loss of human touch. 

fears of software and tech employers with ChatGPT

For all the talk of ChatGPT replacing human customer service, only 14% of employers in software and tech (ChatGPT’s heaviest adopters) would be looking to reduce headcount in this area.  

software and tech employers reducing head count with ChatGPT

“Written by AI”: Sales & Customer success are 67% more likely to think watermarking makes chat GPT useless

82% of employers think a watermark wouldn’t make a difference to their use of ChatGPT

ChatGPT watermak

But for those who think that it would make their content untrustworthy, 52% expect to use ChatGPT to answer customer questions, and 43% to outreach potential customers.  They are also 1.6x more likely to be concerned by a loss of human touch.

ChatGPT concerns of loss of human touch

What about watermarking? When it comes to watermarked text making AI-generated content look untrustworthy, employers and employees share concerns regarding contacting customers. 

Of those most concerned, 39% are concerned they would seem untrustworthy in outreaching clients, and a further 44% when answering customer questions.

affects of ChatGPT watermark on content

Companies fear that direct contact with customers would label them as unreliable if they knew they were talking with a bot.  Admitting to the clients that their content is produced by AI could turn away those looking for a more personal experience.  

68% of these employers also feel that the chatbot should not go unsupervised meaning that they have doubts about the credibility of its work in a crucial, client-facing role. 

employers against ChatGPT watermark

Tech industry willing to go all in for ChatGPT Professional: those willing to pay >€250 a month are 2x more likely to fully trust its output

The pilot of the paid service ChatGPT Professional begs the question: which industries are willing to put their money where their mouth is? 

32% of those willing to pay over €250 per month come from the software and tech industry, and 52% of those willing to pay over €500: making it overwhelmingly the sector willing to pay the most for ChatGPT Professional.

To put that into context, in second place sits the finance industry with just 19% ready to pay over €250 per month.

top 5 industries willing to pay over 250 euros per month for ChatGPT


However, employers in the software and tech industry are 1.8x less likely to trust ChatGPT to work unsupervised than other industries…so does this mean there is a disparity in how software and tech businesses view the evolution of ChatGPT in the workplace? 

For employers who are willing to pay less than €50 a month, 54% said they would not trust ChatGPT to work unsupervised and that it should be checked or merely used as inspiration.  

probability that employers would allow chatgpt to work unsupervised
do you trust chatgpt to work unsupervised

Although ChatGPT has left an impression of autonomy for both employees and employers, ChatGPT has been known to make simple mistakes which begs us to wonder if it should be left unsupervised.  

chatgpt mistake

Understandably, employers who think ChatGPT can work unsupervised are 18% more likely to reduce headcount within their company.


ChatGPT has created differing perceptions amongst employees and employers on its potential impact on the workforce. Whether it be on job cuts or in terms of productivity, ChatGPT could leave an impact on both the finance and software and tech sectors with AI integrated into, most likely, their marketing departments.  

It is uncertain if the chatbot will continue to be accessible for free, but employers are willing to pay for the AI-generated text.  But wait to see whether chatbot content with a watermark that might as well say “I was not written by a human” will change our usage of the chatbot. 


The study was conducted between December 27th, 2022, and January 9th, 2023, among 500 users in 6 countries: the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and France. In the study, we surveyed general ChatGPT users to gather their perspectives on the AI system and its potential impact on their jobs or businesses. The responses are anonymous.

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