Emotional Health at Work

The financial and business costs associated with poor mental health are well documented. An independent review commissioned by the government outlined 10-year goals for mental health support within the workplace. These included:

  1. “Every one of us will have the knowledge, tools and confidence, to understand and look after our own mental health and the mental health of those around us.”
  2. “Employees in all types of employment will have ‘good work’, which contributes positively to their mental health, our society and our economy.”

“Employers are losing billions of pounds because employees are less productive, less effective, or off sick.” (Stevenson and Farmer, 2017)

Facts and Figures

  • In 2016, 15.8 million working days were lost due to mental health issues (such as stress, anxiety and depression), equating to 11.5% of all sickness absence in the UK (ONS 2017).
  • There is further cost to government when people fall out of work due to mental health problems, through out-of-work benefits and lost tax receipts. Mental health conditions account for the largest proportion of new claims for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). In 2016, almost half (49 per cent) of ESA claimants had a mental health condition, up from almost a third (31 per cent) in 2000 (DWP 2016).
  • There are also significant costs associated with mental health presenteeism, which contributes to a loss in productivity. Research from the Centre for Mental Health (2017) estimates that this costs the economy as much as £21.2 billion per year – more than double the cost of sickness absences from mental ill-health.
  • Figures from Business in the Community (ibid) show the extent of issue, with 77% of UK employees reporting they have experienced symptoms of poor mental health, and 29 per cent receiving a mental health diagnosis.
  • Wyatt argues that: “Effective communication is the lifeblood of a successful organisation” (2006). Forming close relationships with colleagues is strongly linked to thriving at work. Interpersonal skills are also essential for many roles and research shows that companies often view them as more important than analytical abilities (Klaus 2010).
  • Furthermore, employees who suppress their emotions at work may be less able to form positive relationships with others; when police officers masked their reactions after tragic events, it led to decreased empathy and reduced connection with citizens (Pogrebin and Poole 1995).
  • Employees also demonstrate higher levels of activity if they have a supervisor who supports autonomous decision-making (Oldham and Cummings 1996).

Find out more

To find out more about how The Wellbeing Supervisor can fit into your organisation, get in touch using the form below or call 0777 234 8182.

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