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Most UAE workers believe robots can support their mental health better than humans: study

Most UAE workers believe robots can support their mental health better than humans: study

Oracle study says 84 per cent of employees would pick AI over humans

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A study commissioned by Oracle reveals that 84 per cent of employees would prefer robots over humans to support their mental health.

These workers believe AI provides a judgement-free zone (35 per cent) an unbiased outlet to share problems (31 per cent), and quick answers to health-related questions (36 per cent).

More than three quarters (77 per cent) of UAE workers would prefer to talk to a robot over their manager about stress and anxiety at work, a new report commissioned by Oracle reveals.

According to the study, 86 per cent of the respondents are open to having a robot as a therapist or counsellor.

The report says 86 per cent of respondents say AI has helped their mental health at work. The top benefits noted were providing the information needed to do their job more effectively (39 per cent), automating tasks and decreasing workload to prevent burnout (35 per cent), and reducing stress by helping to prioritise tasks (37 per cent).

AI has also helped the majority (60 per cent) of workers shorten their workweek and allowed them to take longer vacations (61 per cent). Around two-thirds of respondents say AI technology increases employee productivity (69 per cent), improves job satisfaction (60 per cent) and improves overall well-being (61 per cent).

The report highlights how employees across the world are battling increased levels of anxiety and depression at work due to Covid-19. These workers are also looking for their organisation to provide more mental health support.

The vast majority (87 per cent) of people believe their company should be doing more to protect the mental health of their workforce. Fifty-four per cent noted their companies have added mental health services or support as a result of Covid-19.

In the UAE, 94 per cent of the workforce would like their company to provide technology to support their mental health, including self-service access to health resources (42 per cent), on-demand counselling services (42 per cent), proactive health monitoring tools (42 per cent), access to wellness or meditation apps (41 per cent), and chatbots to answer health-related questions (32 per cent).

Read: Covid-19 impact: How significant is workplace wellness in UAE-based offices?

Ninety-four per cent of workers have faced challenges while working remotely, with the biggest factors being no distinction between personal and professional lives (39 per cent) and dealing with increased mental health challenges like stress and anxiety (34 per cent).

Stress at work is inevitably interfering with productivity, with 36 per cent of people saying workplace stress, anxiety, or depression causes their productivity to plummet and 45 per cent said it leads to an increase in poor decision making.

“There is a lot that can be done to support the mental health of the global workforce and there are so many ways that technology like AI can help,” said Emily He, senior vice president, Oracle Cloud HCM.

“But first, organisations need to add mental health to their agenda. If we can get these conversations started – both at an HR and an executive level – we can begin to make some change. And the time is now,” she added.

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