Burnout? Job Insecurity? Thank Your Robot Peer

Research published by the American Psychological Association indicates that if you’re working alongside robots, you may be experiencing job burnout and workplace incivility. Their suggestion? Self-affirmation techniques may help alleviate fears about being replaced by your robot peers.

Job insecurity from robots exists, asserts Kai Chi Yam, Ph.D., an associate professor of management at the National University of Singapore, particularly in the U.S. and Asia. The study was published online in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

The study involved working with industrial robots and higher reports of burnout and workplace incivility in an experiment with 118 engineers employed by an Indian auto manufacturing company. 400 participants found that self-affirmation exercises, where people are encouraged to think positively about themselves and their uniquely human characteristics, may help lessen workplace robot fears.

Another experiment comprised 343 parents of students at the National University of Singapore. Researchers randomly assigned them to three groups. One group read about the use of robots in businesses, the second group read a general article about robots, and the third read an unrelated article—the first group reported significantly higher levels of job insecurity than the two other groups.

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