Oracle and workplace intelligence published the results of a study on the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of workers worldwide. The percentage of workers affected is already shocking (78%) but what is really overwhelming is the vote of confidence. More precisely, the lack of trust in company officials. The researchers found that 68 percent of people would rather talk to a robot than to their supervisor when they experience stress and anxiety at work! Even more: 80 percent of those surveyed think it is good to have a robot as a therapist or consultant.
This is about something deeper than just “stress”. A bad day at work heals quickly. Gaming, for example, is an excellent therapy for minor ailments. There are many offers like that of nj-licensed-casinos.comthat can provide quick and easy relief from transient stress. However, a year of breaking regular habits requires a complete reorientation of the mental health perspective in the workplace. When 76% of workers believe that companies are not doing enough for the mental health of their employees – another finding from the Oracle study – a big question of trust needs to be considered.
One sassy way of putting it is cruising on social media, in this format:
EVERY COMPANY: We want to promote mental health in the workplace.
EMPLOYEES: How about hiring more people so we can put less pressure on ourselves and raise our salaries so we can keep up with the rising cost of living so that we are not so stressed out.
EVERY COMPANY: No, not like that. Try yoga.
(Credits: Patrick Dyl, “professional geek”)
The above is a pre-pandemic sketch, further evidence that these issues have much deeper roots and cosmetic measures won’t go away. Another indicator of this epochal change is the finding from the same Oracle study that only 18 percent of people would prefer humans to robots to support their mental health. The motivations are revealing: respondents believe that robots offer a judgment-free zone (34 percent), an unbiased outlet for sharing problems (30 percent) and quick answers to health questions (29 percent).
And it doesn’t end here. AI has an unexpected “psychotherapeutic” effect, with 75 percent of respondents saying that AI has helped their mental health at work. How did it actually happen? Here are the top benefits of using AI listed by employees: providing the information needed to work more effectively (31 percent), automating tasks and reducing workload to avoid burnout (27 percent) and Stress reduction by prioritizing tasks (27th percent). There are more, indirect benefits. The majority (51 percent) of workers say they can thank AI for shorter working weeks and longer vacations. A large majority (63 percent) of employees estimate that AI technology increases their productivity and improves job satisfaction (54 percent). The result is improved general wellbeing, says the majority (52 percent) of those surveyed in the Oracle survey.
Employers should respond to this obvious call to action. As we’ve seen, an overwhelming majority (76 percent) of employees are dissatisfied with their company’s mental health measures: they are not doing enough, according to the global workforce. Only 51 percent said their company activated some forms of mental health services in the workplace to help them cope with the aftermath of the pandemic. The interesting addition to this is now the desire of a whopping 83 percent of respondents to provide their employer with technology to support their mental health. More specifically, employees want self-service access to health resources (36 percent), on-demand counseling services (35 percent), proactive health monitoring tools (35 percent), access to wellness or meditation apps (35 percent), and chatbots to answer health-related questions answer (28 percent).
This techno-psycho revolution also has negative aspects. An overwhelming majority of workers (84 percent) faced challenges while working remotely. Unsurprisingly, the most commonly reported problems are the lack of boundaries between personal and professional life (41 percent) and heightened stress and anxiety (33 percent). In 85 percent of cases, family life suffers from work-related stress, and anxiety and depression affect private life.
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