Ageas Insurance has introduced a wellbeing bot to support its thousands of employees across the country with their physical and mental health.
According to the insurer, the artificial intelligence (AI) bot acts as a personal wellbeing buddy and sends people virtual nudges that can benefit their health, such as reminding them to take a screen break or have a catch up with a colleague.
Created in-house by the company, the bot was developed in response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, which resulted in around 90% of Ageas employees working from home since March last year.
The bot also talks to staff about topics including staying hydrated to conditions such as seasonal affective disorder.
The initiative is part of Ageas’ wider wellbeing provision, which includes access to mental health first aiders and organised fitness challenges, leadership wellbeing webinars, online groups for parents and wellbeing guides.
HR director Lyn Nicholls said that the mental wellbeing of staff has been a particular focus for the company during the pandemic.
She said: “Looking after our health and wellbeing is more important than ever. To help our people take even better care of themselves, we’ve developed a friendly AI creature, who will act as their own personal wellbeing bot.”
Nicholls explained that the company still has a range of human support available as well, including mental health first aiders and an employee assistance programme.
She added: “We’re pleased to add this new initiative to our growing list of ways we’re supporting our people.”
Steve Croucher, who works as one of Ageas’ mental health first aiders, said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. We all need to be motivated with new ideas of how we can look after our physical and mental health. We may have started off this pandemic time with good intentions and habits but, for some of us, those may have gone out the window so it’s great to have regular reminders.”