Artificial intelligence would harm the quality of life at work, according to a study

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    The real effects of artificial intelligence on employment are still difficult to evaluate, which does not prevent some from speculating about the benefits that employees and managers will obtain from the use of this new technology. But this progress would come at the expense of the well-being of labor market participants, according to a recent study.

    This research was carried out by the Institute for the Future of Work think tank among 5,000 British workers. The majority of respondents regularly use information and communication technologies (ICT) at work, whether computers, smartphones, connected objects or artificial intelligence software.

    When AI intensifies the workload

    You might expect these digital tools to make your daily professional life easier, which they do to some extent. ICT can make work easier, but it also helps to intensify it. Therefore, they can expose managers and employees who use them intensively to psychological risks related to stress, hyperconnectivity and excess mental load.

    But the authors of the Future of Work Institute study found that certain ICTs contribute more to employee unhappiness than others. Thus, computers, smartphones and professional instant messaging would promote the well-being of workers who use them frequently. On the contrary, new technologies, such as connected objects, robotics and artificial intelligence software, would make the situation worse. The more we use them, the more they affect the quality of life at work.

    Although researchers from the Institute for the Future of Work have not investigated the causes of this phenomenon, they point out that their conclusions are consistent with those of previous studies on the impact of ICT on the quality of life at work. The latter demonstrated that “these technologies can exacerbate job insecurity, workload intensification, routinization and loss of meaning in work, as well as disempowerment and loss of autonomy.” So many elements that can harm the well-being of employees.

    Well-being at work also depends on your environment

    Despite this, the authors of this research maintain that ICT is not a problem in itself. “We don’t want to pretend that there is some kind of determinism in the effects of technology on well-being. We say that it really depends on the context: you have to take into account many structural factors, environmental conditions, “how” the technology is designed and implemented. So, it’s a lot of human decisions,” Dr. Magdalena Soffia, lead author of the study, told The Guardian.

    That is why it is essential that companies that want to integrate artificial intelligence into their internal operations demonstrate more transparency with their teams. They must guide them and cover their training needs so that they do not feel threatened by the arrival of this new technology in their daily professional life.

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