2 min read
Working life is moving faster, placing higher demands on our people and our businesses to keep up.
Not getting enough physical activity
Sitting too much.
And feeling more stressed - and overwhelmed- than ever.
This is having a huge impact on the wellbeing of our employees physical and mental health, causing an employee to take an average of 7 days off of work a year for health reasons. It is estimated that mental health problems account for 40% of this figure: 2.8 days per employee. If you extrapolate that and consider that this amounts to 70 million working days lost each year due to poor mental health, which costs UK employers £26 million (nearly $38 million), it’s clear that mental health in the workplace needs to be addressed.
But part of the reason that lost work days remains such a problem is because mental health issue remain unseen. If you think this is not a problem in your organisation, think again:
At any one time 1 worker in 6 will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress. It’s actually one of the largest contributors to sickness absence in the UK.
It can be daunting to think about tackling wellbeing, and especially the mental aspect of it. As we’ve said before, wellbeing covers a variety of topics. Sadly there is still a stigma and concern surrounding talking about mental health in the workplace for the fear of lack of promotion, reducing career prospects and general concern of appearing like you cannot cope.
In reality, mental and physical wellbeing are so closely intertwined that to deal with one without the other will simply have little to no effect. Here are some of my key recommendations:-
Creating an open, honest, caring culture will go part of the way to helping to increase awareness and the ability for employees to be comfortable to discuss these issues. But if you are not there yet, just begin by asking the question and promoting the fact that it is OK not to be OK.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. How do you handle mental wellbeing in your office?
Lucy Tallick has a background in wellbeing strategy for corporations, as well as time spent as a fitness coach and trainer. Lucy is our UK-based wellbeing expert at Reward Gateway.