75% people seek solace in AI for mental health issues amidst Covid-19: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 05, 2020 Published on November 05, 2020

Stress, a lack of work-life balance, burnout, depression and loneliness were among problems faced

According to the World Economic Forum report, people across the globe have witnessed depression and deteriorating mental health amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The WEF study revealed that 70 per cent of people have had more stress and anxiety at work this year than any other previous year.

This increased stress and anxiety have 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 a lack of socialisation (25 per cent), and loneliness (14 per cent).

This is also affecting people’s professional performance as they feel pressurized to meet performance standards (42 per cent), handling routine and tedious tasks (41 per cent), and juggling unmanageable workloads (41 per cent).

The report stated: “An unhappy home life leads to even more depression, diminished productivity at work and yet more anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle.”

“Additionally, our daily commutes – what used to be a respite from the demands of both home and work – has been replaced by more work. The time we used to spend listening to music or podcasts or reading the paper has been filled with more Zoom meetings and late hours poring over spreadsheets,” added the authors of the study.

The authors also believe that this has been exacerbated by a constant barrage of news (including political news during an election year in the US) about rising Covid-19 cases and death tolls, and the stress on our mental health becomes almost intolerable.

AI dependence

The report further revealed that 68 per cent said they would rather talk to a robot about their mental health issues than to their managers. For many of them (64 per cent), robots and chatbots represent a judgment-free zone where they can seek information without exposing their weaknesses to bosses and colleagues.

Notably, 75 per cent of respondents have turned to artificial intelligence (AI) and digital assistants to improve their mental health.

Respondents said AI is providing them with the information they need to do their job more effectively (31 per cent), automating tasks and decreasing workload to prevent burnout (27 per cent), and reducing stress by helping to prioritize tasks (27 per cent).

Additionally, AI has helped the majority of workers shorten their workweek (51 per cent), take longer vacations (51 per cent), increase productivity (63 per cent), improve job satisfaction (54 per cent), and improve overall well-being (52 per cent).

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Published on November 05, 2020
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