According to new research, 66% of employees think that in future, more time and resources will be dedicated to mental health in the workplace due to COVID-19.
This data comes from an anonymous survey of UK employees from 300 companies carried out since the New Year by workforce training course comparison site CoursesOnline.
In advance of Time to Talk Day on February 4th, the survey sought to identify attitudes towards mental wellbeing and how they have been shaped throughout the pandemic.
- 66% of workers agree that mental health will benefit from greater time and resources in the long-term after COVID
- However, 40% of workplaces are yet to implement any new mental health policies in response to the pandemic
- 10% of respondents stated that if they had a mental health concern, then they would not speak to anyone about it
- Of the other 90%, 63% would currently prefer to talk things through with a friend or family member before doing so with someone at work
Which of the following mental health policies has your workplace implemented in response to COVID-19?
60% of organisations represented in the responses have opted to bring in new policies to address COVID-19 related mental health issues. The most popular approaches were to assign responsibility for such matters to either an in house or external specialist. 18% and 19% of respondents opted for these respective approaches.
There was less enthusiasm for increasing time off for employees with mental health concerns (10% of respondents) and placing a greater emphasis on existing staff/management discussions (13%).
The cost of not investing in employee mental health
Speaking about the findings from their survey, CoursesOnline’s General Manager Sarah-Jane McQueen drew attention to the duty employers have to invest in their people:
“For the 40% of organisations who aren’t looking to do more in regards to mental health, there is a strong business case for them rethinking their approach – not to mention that there is a clear expectation from the majority of workers that some form of action is taken. Regardless of where or how you operate, mental health issues account for a significant proportion of days off so I would think that firms would be keen to gain back some of this productivity if nothing else.”