Can bots Support Employees in Lessening Digital Fatigue During e-Work: Research Results
Keywords:chatbots, digital fatigue, standard communication, RAP
The pandemic situation has obliged organizations to shift all possible tasks to the Internet and to replace on-site work by its remote version. Without a preparation stage, companies were forced to adopt remote working at the individual-level and cloud computing at the organization level simultaneously. As a consequence, the accelerated shift toward digital work forced employees to rapidly learn how to use various ICT tools (which were not necessarily compatible with each other) and how to implement them into a daily routine.The protracted pandemic has led to many employees working from home, especially those doing knowledge-based work, and has often imposed remote work without the on-site option. This has led (and is still leading) to digital fatigue of workers (a phenomenon that negatively affects the performance of both the employee and the organization), the effects of which have already been named and described by scientists. One solution to unburden employees could be by relieving them from everyday, repetitive, and often tedious jobs By delegating these tasks to bots (especially those that may be subject to automation), it will enable employees to deal with more creative and knowledge-based tasks that require attention and do not cause the same level of fatigue and weariness. In this paper, the research question enquires whether there are commonplace digital processes in organizations that can be automated. If yes, then which technologies are used on a regular basis to automate the processes. The conducted literature review helped to distinguish three categories of standard digital processes suitable for automation – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based processes (written and spoken), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and processes of searching for specific information. The empirical research was conducted using the CATI questionnaire in 2020 on 400 organizations which use cloud computing for daily routines. The results indicate that the identified processes are indeed subject to automation, and organizations use bots for RPA most (27.5%), and voice chatbots least (3.75%). The use of bots is also shown to be statistically dependent on a company’s scope and size.
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