With one in six workers experiencing a mental health problem at any one time, and stress thought to be responsible for almost half of working days lost in Britain due to health issues, the relationship between mental health and the workplace is a complex one.
Mental health and employers: refreshing the case for investment, builds on previous Deloitte research published in 2017 to help us understand more about mental health and wellbeing in today’s labour market. The report also makes a positive case for employers investing in mental health, with an average return of £5 for every £1 spent.
Since then, Deloitte has found that positive changes in workplaces include greater openness in discussing mental health at work, in larger employers in particular, and more provision of support overall.
Research also finds that despite this progress, costs have risen. This can be attributed largely to a significant rise in mental-health-related ‘presenteeism’, where employees work when they are not at their most productive, with mental-health related absenteeism and staff turnover contributing to the costs overall.
Alongside this, changes to working practices are found to make maintaining mental health more challenging for some. For example, while an increased use of technology can enhance working practices, having the ability to work outside of normal working hours can also make it hard to disconnect from an ‘always-on’ culture.