A new era for mental health at the workplace
The Mental Health at Work Report 2021 (Harvard Business Review) refers to mental health status, stigma and work culture in the US workplace during pandemic.
The discussion on mental health is an important step for the reduction of mental health‘s stigma. The majority of employees feel comfortable talking about their mental health. 75 % of employees shared their mental health concerns with someone at work and half of them described it as a positive experience.
After the pandemic companies have made (taken) basic steps across the change of organizational culture.
54 % of respondents believed that mental health was priority in their workplace. In addition, 47 % of respondents believed that managers of their company were mental health advocates at work and the 47 % believed that their manager had the skills to support them if they had a mental illness or symptom.
Employers benefit from mental health support at work.
Respondents who felt supported by their employer were also less likely to develop mental health symptoms, less likely to perform poorly and lose their job and they declared that they felt comfortable talking about mental health at workplace. In addition, they had higher job satisfaction and the intention to stay in their company. Finally, they had more positive views about their company and their managers and they trusted their company more.
Factors that affect mental health in the workplace.
The pandemic also exacerbated communication practices and we have noticed low sense of connection or support from colleagues, which is not surprising, This is due to the fact that much of the workforce worked remotely. More and more employees quit their jobs for mental health reasons.
84 % or respondents referred at least to one factor at the workplace that affected their mental health negatively. Younger employees were affected even more seriously. According to the respondents the most common factor were:
– Emotional exhaustion (due to intense stress, workload, monotony and lack of interest) also worsened after the pandemic and led to a greater imbalance between work and personal life.
– Increased rates of burnout due to workaholism.
What the majority of respondents said was that after the pandemic employers provided more frequent leaves of absence, longer breaks during working hours, shorter leaves for psychotherapy appointments, extra pay, and mental health training for employees.