80% of Companies Seeing a Rise in Employee Demand for Mental Health Support
Over the past few years, employee mental health has been a hot topic. Research around productivity and mental health has shown a stark correlation between the two, suggesting employers need to do more to support their workers’ mental health. And with Covid-19 forcing many of us to work from home, there has been even more information about the impact of poor support and understanding from employers on employees’ mental health.
As we start to head back to the office, it’s time we consider our employees’ mental health and how we can support them moving forwards. Please keep reading for further insight into rising demands for mental health support and how you can respond to this as a supportive and caring employer.
An Employee Benefits poll has detected a significant rise in demand for mental health support from employees since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The research has found that 80% of organisations have seen an increase in demand from employees for mental health support, and many have started to respond by offering greater help to staff. A further 13% of those organisations polled confirmed that they were preparing to provide more mental health support, while only 7% said they saw no increase in demand.
It’s no surprise we are seeing a significant rise in employee demands for better mental health, as the Office for National Statistics reported that in the first quarter of 2021, 1 in 5 adults in Britain experienced symptoms of depression during the pandemic. This statistic is more than double that in the same period before the pandemic.
Understand the Impact of Workload
As an employer, your workload or daily work life might look considerably different to your employees. You can now delegate tasks to staff and free up your time for other essential matters such as meeting clients. However, you should never forget about the impact a workload has on employee health. Sometimes employers can become blind to the workload they give employees and might even see it as justified as it’s ‘‘something I did once too.’’
However, we need to understand the amount of work employees take on and whether this is right. Think about how many hours your employees work and how many tasks they have. Don’t get sidetracked by thinking about how fast you or someone else could complete the job, but instead think about their pace. If you see that employees are being asked to do more than they should, it’s time to consider ways to reduce this, like hiring part-time or full-time employees to help cut the workload down.
Provide Access to Therapy
We are seeing more workplaces offer benefits to employees, which include access to mental health support such as therapy. Instead of allowing employees to face their mental health concerns alone, they are encouraged to use services, such as private therapy funded by the company, to relieve themselves of their concerns.
Therapy is an excellent way for people to understand their mental health and discover ways to overcome their mental health issues and have a happier and healthier future. The stigma therapy once had, is no longer dominant. Many people see the benefits of therapy for themselves and not as a last resort or something only for people facing massive traumas.
Mental Health Day
Many employees who feel like they need a break from work are often forced to take these as sick days. Unfortunately, this reduced their pay when physically ill or unable to come to work. Instead, we are seeing a rise in popularity around ‘‘mental health days’’ or ‘‘wellbeing days’’ where workers are allocated a certain number of days where they can take time off work to relax and recharge.
Canada Life carried out a poll in March 2021, which demonstrated intense demands from employees for more mental health and wellbeing support. For example, of the 2,000 working parents surveyed, 54% said they wanted their employees to introduce specific mental wellness days. This increased to 59% among female respondents working from home.
Consider implementing something like this at your workplace to boost employee mood and mental health. Although it might seem crazy to offer your workers more time off, allowing them the freedom to step back and take care of themselves now and then helps boost their happiness in the workplace and their productivity.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about the services I can offer you. I am a compassionate and understanding individual whose career is focused on supporting individuals, couples, families and more through their ongoing mental health concerns. I provide continuing support customised to suit the individual needs of my client.