92% of Indian employees prefer discussing mental health issues with robots than managers

Around 85 per cent of the surveyed people say mental health issue at work … HR is coordinating communication, facilitating remote working, helping …

2020 has been by far the most stressful year ever for most people. Within India, 84 per cent people have reportedly experienced more stress and/or anxiety at work than any year before according to Oracle’s 2020 AI@Work Study. The findings are based on a study conducted across 12,347 people that included employees, managers, HR leaders, and C-level executives in 11 countries — the US, the UK, China, Japan, India, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy South Korea and UAE — to explore leadership and employee attitudes towards mental health, AI, digital assistants and robots in the workplace.

One of the biggest challenges in these trying times is mental health. Staying home while trying to juggle work, childcare, schooling, and unpredictable finances has taken its toll on working families. Mental health has become one of the biggest challenges for employees and employers to manage with the continuously evolving work dynamic. Mental health issues are now spilling into people’s personal lives. Around 85 per cent of the surveyed people say mental health issue at work negatively affect their home life.

In India, 92 per cent of the surveyed are more comfortable talking about their mental issues with a robot than a manager. That’s much higher than the global 68 per cent of people who would prefer to talk to a robot over their manager about mental health at work. Also, 82 per cent believe robots can support their mental health better than humans. Shaakun Khanna, Head of HCM Applications, Asia Pacific at Oracle said, “In India people are more comfortable with technology. Also, there is a stigma attached, so people feel more comfortable talking to a robot.” People prefer communicating with robots because robots are perceived as unbiased, provide quick answers to health questions and are judgement free.

Also, 90 per cent of Indians say their company is using good use of AI to ensure health and safety of employees. This is higher than Japan.

“The pandemic has witnessed HR dealing with a crisis which has no precedence. HR is coordinating communication, facilitating remote working, helping keep workers stay productive, and assisting with mental wellbeing needs,” said Khanna.

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