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70% of part-timers positive toward robots at businesses

May 25, 2024 - 16:00 By Yoon Min-sik

A recent survey suggested that majority of part-time workers in South Korea are positive about using AI, robot and other machines at work.

Part-time job-search website Alba Cheonguk said Thursday that it had conducted a survey on 771 part-timers that showed that 71 percent of the respondents had a positive view of adopting recent technology such as food-serving robots, kiosks at their place of work.

The percentage was particularly high among those working in shops that already used such technology, with 78.5 percent of part-timers at such businesses responding positively.

When asked why they see robots at shops as a positive thing, 50.6 percent of the respondents picked "reduced stress from having to deal with customers face-to-face." It was followed by "reduced errors when ordering or serving products" at 38.2 percent, and "it allows (workers) to focus on more important duties" at 28 percent. Multiple answers were allowed.

About 88.3 percent of the respondents said they felt that the increased use of robots at local businesses was noticeable, up 6.4 percentage points from the same survey three years ago.

Despite the positive outlook by many, 52.1 percent of the respondents viewed more machines and robots as a threat to their job stability. Those working in the customer service/sales/research sector were most likely to think so (66.7 percent), followed by those in education sector (60.6 percent).

When asked why they felt threatened by robots at workplace 53.6 percent picked "it will lead to less part-time jobs." Some 45.1 percent said "many customers are not comfortable with using the machines," while 34.4 percent said "my work has increased because I have to tell the customers how to use the machines."

But 55.6 percent of total respondents said that robots and machines cannot fully replace human part-time workers.