In the years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the cultural landscape of the workplace evolved into a predominantly virtual experience. Fundamental elements of the office environment, such as connecting with coworkers, fell by the wayside as Zoom cameras slowly shifted to being “off” more than they were “on.” The line between home and office blurred as employers expanded their expectations of what could get done from 9-5 and the mental wellbeing of employees declined rapidly. Now, in an effort to attract and retain good employees, employers are re-evaluating the role increased mental health support plays in counteracting the effects of remote work.
COMBATTING EMPLOYEE ISOLATION AND BURNOUT
Initially, the hope of a quick end to the pandemic kept employees motivated to work from home. Then, as our new normal took shape, employees across the globe recognized a chasm developing between their mental wellbeing and the work they were being asked to do remotely. Working parents and caregivers, once well supported pre-pandemic, struggled to find access to reliable supervision and care for their loved ones.
Loneliness skyrocketed— before the pandemic, 70% of employees revealed that cultivating friendships at their job was the most important element of having a happy work life. In the face of the pandemic, 63% of employees have since reported feeling isolated from their team.
70% – of employees revealed that cultivating friendships at their job was the most important element of having a happy work life.
63% – of employees have reported unhappiness caused by feeling isolated from their team and coworkers.
While the boundaries between work and personal life have continued to disintegrate over the last few years, more than one in three (32%) employees have reported feeling burned out. Taken together, the experience of being overworked and undersocialized has led to an uptick in employees experiencing mental health challenges, including serious mental illnesses like severe depression and bipolar disorder. When conditions such as depression go unresolved, employees can experience a 35% reduction in productivity and even miss an average of 21 days of work per year.
Employees living with serious conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or severe depression are often just as successful in the workplace as their peers. Although mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can become more prevalent when an employee is experiencing a high stress environment and/or social isolation, externalized stigma against mental illness can prevent employees from seeking the help they need.
Moreover, if the symptoms of serious mental illness go untreated, the repercussions can be even more detrimental to an employee’s work and their overall well being than those with more mild conditions.
-35% – When conditions such as depression go unresolved, employees can experience a 35% reduction in productivity.
21 Days – Employees struggling with mental health issues such as depression miss an average of 21 days of work per year.
BALANCING ATTRITION AND RETENTION
In 2021, employees began resigning from their companies in record numbers. In April, 4 million US employees left their jobs. In May, another 3.6 million followed suit. According to a survey of 1,000 full time workers across the US, 84% of respondents said that mental health benefits are important when they’re considering a new job and more than half (59%) revealed that they would stay at a job if “it provides robust and comprehensive mental health benefits.”
Today, in light of the Great Resignation, companies are taking action. With 92% of surveyed HR professionals stating that mental health support is now a higher priority for their company, the financial and health care industries are beginning to take mental wellbeing into consideration when developing their benefits packages.
84% – of 1,000 survey respondents said that mental health benefits are important when they’re considering a new job.
92% – of surveyed HR professionals stated that mental health support is now a higher priority for their company.
FINDING A SOLUTION THAT WORKS
At Mindstrong, we provide mental health care for everyone— including those with serious mental illness. Through data-driven technology and compassionate care teams, we create access to quality mental health care and have helped thousands of people
significantly improve their mental health. When mental health conditions go unresolved, the US economy loses $210.5 billion a year in reduced productivity, absenteeism, and medical costs. By offering Mindstrong as a part of your benefits package, you will provide your employees access to the support they need for whatever mental health condition they’re facing while also avoiding unnecessary expenses. If you’re interested in learning more about how Mindstrong can help you empower your employees to reach their full potential, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional mental health resources, visit our TIG Advisors blog.