Case studies

Ask the chatbot: to retire or not to retire?

The workplace issue

Alexandro has been considering early retirement for months, but has been intimidated by the many decisions he would have to make. As the digital workplace chatbot explains to him that it can listen, understand natural language and talk back, Alexandro relaxes. Although he much prefers dealing with his old friend, the office human resources generalist, he understands that times have changed.

As Alexandro answers the chatbot’s questions, he is reassured to discover that the training, research findings and assistance available through the system are quite extensive and tailored for his situation. Alexandro assumes he would be mostly on his own in making the final decision, so he is pleasantly surprised when the chatbot offers more sophisticated support: In Solution Adviser mode, the chatbot articulates back to him his desired retirement outcomes; summarises key health, financial and retirement location variables; and begins to present alternative scenarios.

A tailored and customised solution

After a structured conversation with the chatbot, Alexandro receives a customised retirement plan. He discusses it with the chatbot to clarify the details, then verbally authorises it to complete the retirement process.

At several points in Alexandro’s conversation with the chatbot, the questions touch on how he is feeling about the process, how he intends to keep busy in retirement and the role his spouse is playing in the decision. Alexandro jokes that his wife has practically insisted he retire, and the chatbot asks whether he wants to speak to a retirement specialist about his decision.

Alexandro is impressed that the system managed to sense some of his ambivalence about his life after work. The chatbot not only projected a certain degree of empathy with his situation but also offered him the opportunity to speak with a specialist. Although this chatbot is obviously not truly able to empathise like his human resources friend would, the retirement information it provides is helpful, and the option of speaking to another human about his feelings is available. 

Having access to work related information through the use of technology would help services workers feel more engaged. While only three in ten surveyed said they would feel comfortable working alongside robots and AI, four in ten want to communicate with their employer via technology. Therefore technology can have positive results in enhancing employer and employee relationships.

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