Workers Ready to Accept AI Says Report

Changing behaviors and digital natives are transforming the future workplace, attitudes towards automation, and what employees expect of their employers. That’s according to results from a new large-scale study of more than 34,000 consumers across 18 countries from Verint  Systems Inc., The Customer Engagement Company.

The report – Engagement in the Always-on Era: How Humans and Technology Work Hand-in-Hand to Meet Rising Expectations – points to an increase in customer demand for always-on service. It’s not only the expectations from consumers that are changing; the workforce also is shifting its attitude towards automation and artificial intelligence and welcomes technology to help them in the workplace. The report finds that there is a correlation between the provision of technology with happiness, fulfillment, and reduced stress at work.

Attitudes are shifting in support of automation in the workplace

Opinions on automation in the workplace have been divided for years. While previous studies showed reticence toward automation, Verint’s study shows that in 2019, people are becoming more accepting of automation and AI at work. It finds that 71% of people are in favor of using technology to replace manual and laborious tasks, and 69% believe that technology will enhance not replace their jobs. Almost two thirds (64%) believe automation technology will help to reduce their workload and stress.

The study found a correlation between the provision of technology and happiness in the workplace, as well as reduced stress. More than three quarters (78%) are happy in their current workplace, but only 29% report to have low levels of stress. However, 72% of respondents who have low levels of stress at work said they had access to all the tools and technology they need.

A hybrid workforce is key to meeting customer service expectations

Findings from the report also point to an increase in consumer expectations for always-on service and the need for organizations to rethink how they will meet these. Consumers are becoming more demanding of how they engage with organizations – 60% of consumers expect to be able to engage on any channel and at any time. In response, organizations must turn to automation to cope with this increased demand. However, the research finds that the key to meeting customer expectations is to achieve the right balance between human engagement

channels and automated ones, such as chatbots or web-self-service. Half of the consumers across the globe said they would engage less with brands that fully replace human engagement channels with digital alternatives.

This research was commissioned by Verint from February 1-11 in association with research company Opinium Research LLP. Interviews were conducted among 34,068 consumers in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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