9 in 10 Indian workers seek robots to support their mental health

10/7/2020
As Covid-19 takes its toll on the mental health of people globally, over 9 in 10 people in India think robots can support their overall well-being much better than humans, a new Oracle study said on Wednesday. A whopping 91 per cent of Indian workforce surveyed said they would prefer to talk to a robot over their manager about stress and anxiety at work, according to the study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory firm. The study of more than 1,000 employees, managers, HR leaders, and C-level executives across 11 countries found that the Covid-19 pandemic has increased workplace stress, anxiety, and burnout for people all around the world, and they prefer robots instead of other people to help. Nearly 93 per cent people said their mental health issues at work negatively affect their home life while 95 per cent of those surveyed believed companies should be doing more to support the mental health of their workforce. For the Indian workforce, 65 per cent feel that they are working more than 40 hours per month and 32 per cent feel the burnout from overwork. "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. But first, organizations need to add mental health to their agenda," said Emily He, senior vice president, Oracle Cloud HCM. While 70 per cent of people globally have had more stress and anxiety at work this year than any other previous year, 84 per cent of Indian workforce felt more stress and anxiety. This increased stress and anxiety has negatively impacted the mental health of 78 per cent of the global workforce, causing more stress (38 per cent), a lack of work-life balance (35 per cent), burnout (25 per cent), depression from no socialisation (25 per cent), and loneliness (14 per cent). "The pandemic situation has witnessed HR dealing with a crisis which has no precedence to draw wisdom from. HR is coordinating communication, facilitating remote working, helping keep workers stay productive, and assisting with mental wellbeing needs," said Shaakun Khanna, head of HCM applications, Asia Pacific, Oracle. The new pressures presented by the pandemic have been layered on top of everyday workplace stressors, including pressure on global workforce to meet performance standards (42 per cent), handling routine and tedious tasks (41 per cent) and juggling unmanageable workloads (41 per cent). The most common repercussions globally were sleep deprivation (40 per cent), poor physical health (35 per cent), reduced happiness at home (33 per cent), suffering family relationships (30 per cent), and isolation from friends (28 per cent). As boundaries have increasingly blurred between personal and professional worlds with people working remotely, 35 per cent of people are working 40+ more hours each month and 25 percent of people have been burned out from overwork. "Despite perceived drawbacks of remote work, 62 percent of people globally find remote work more appealing now than they did before the pandemic, saying they now have more time to spend with family (51 per cent), sleep (31 per cent), and get work done (30 per cent)," the findings showed. Nearly 76 per cent of people globally believe their company should be doing more to protect the mental health of their workforce, the report mentioned.

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