Mental Wellbeing at Work

Employee Mental Wellbeing Analytics
Mental Wellbeing At Work

Mental wellbeing at work and workplace health have always been important for businesses, but it is only recently that these aspects are being really considered under the spotlight. [1]

A 2017 survey for instance,[2] outlined how, out of a sample of 3,215 employees, 61% reportedly underwent a burnout due to work-related stress and anxiety and that this has had a significant impact on their mental wellbeing and on the performance of the businesses they were working in.

More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced half of the world population into a condition of isolation and higher vulnerability, as overnight we were asked to change our habits and leave our houses only when absolutely necessary and as per recent announcements, we are seeing a possible return to these practices of isolation and restrictions. The practice of “being safe at home” and the hard work carried out by the NHS and multiple other health services, we all certainly helped slow down the infection rates [4], but we are still living with the virus.

The toll of the pandemic has been affecting less tangible aspects as well, such as depression and stress, with rates in the UK reportedly doubling in July 2020 compared to the levels in March of the same year. [3] 

The negative repercussion on businesses and organisations; uncertainty and a global market slowdown, has forced many businesses to close and make huge cuts to their staff. [5] This has led to an increasing strain on the remaining workforce, not only in capacity but in no longer seeing close friends and colleagues and managing concern of their own futures. Ultimately lowering mental wellbeing levels of people and workers.

It is important to mention that addressing the levels of mental wellbeing at work is not only crucial to assist and help employees and workers but is also fundamental for businesses to be competitive and achieve greater return on investment due to higher engagement levels [6]

Richard Branson once said: ‘If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.’ Researches and studies have supported this statement showing a clear and unequivocal picture of the impact that poor mental wellbeing levels from employees have on businesses.

A 2011 study for instance, suggested that poor mental wellbeing and health were the main factors influencing employee’s practice of presenteeism. This activity resulted in costing the UK economy £15.1 billion per annum, in what is almost twice the business cost as an actual absence, [7]  and which peaked this year, reaching £45 billion. [8]

Furthermore, a 2019 research from Deloitte on Canadian businesses, suggested that costs related to lost productivity amounted to £3.6 billion in 2019, proving the huge importance of having healthy and engaged employees. [9]

Although evidence shows that mental wellbeing has a huge impact on business and every organisation should have solid plans to support their employees, [10] organisations struggle to start and implement employee and staff wellbeing and engagement programs. 

From a 2019 study, it emerged that in the UK, only ¼ of small medium-size businesses have a mental wellbeing strategy in place.[11] Implementing and launching wellbeing plans has shown to be challenging for several reasons. 

Firstly there appears to be a gap [12] between the efforts that organisations undergo to develop and implement wellbeing programmes and what was perceived as actually happening.

Secondly, there can be barriers to adoption. In a 2019 report from the Prince’s Responsible Business Network [13], for instance, it emerged that 70% of managers say there are barriers to them providing mental health support, a 2% increase compared to the previous year (68%).

It is clear then how important it is to understand and support the mental wellbeing of employees and workers of an organisation. Its levels are directly linked to the employee’s performance but more importantly, obtaining good levels of mental wellbeing should be the priority of every company.

To help tackle these issues, we’ve combined expertise from industry partners with technology to develop an employee mental wellbeing analytics toolkit for employers and employees to improve their levels of wellbeing and their company’s performance. The goal is to help support individuals and businesses by providing the reach and support enabled through a non-invasive technology platform and make sure we’re looking out for each other.

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