- 2 out of every 5 American workers say that work has the worst impact on their mental health out of all of the potential relevant contributors to negative mental health.
- The highest causes of workplace stress cited consist of being overworked (37%), a lack of work-life balance (33%), and inadequate compensation (31%).
- To continue to trend in the right direction, employers are encouraged to improve their workers’ work-life balance, diminish the load placed on overworked employees, and increase wages.
Work plays a salient role in the state of our mental health.
It is crucial that we have good mental health in order to perform our job efficiently, but it is also crucial that our job be such that it is not a source of negativity.
Nevertheless, according to a recent survey conducted by JobSage of 2000 American workers, 2 out of every 5 American workers say that work has the worst impact on their mental health out of all of the potential relevant contributors to negative mental health.
The current state of mental health in the workplace: statistics.
The top reasons employees cite work as the highest-ranking contributor to negative mental health second to finances (42%) consist of lack of work-life balance (47%), not enough time off from work (42%), and not enough schedule flexibility (41%).
Over a quarter of workers have quit their jobs, citing mental health as their primary reason for quitting. The highest causes of workplace stress cited consist of being overworked (37%), a lack of work-life balance (33%), and inadequate compensation. (31%).
The majority (75%) of workers take mental health days, but the majority (66%) of that majority feel guilty for doing so, leading to further stress.
Finally, 2 out of 5 workers wished that mental health was talked about openly in the workplace. Though, 1 out of 4 wished the opposite.
Nevertheless, work is a place where people increasingly speak about their mental health openly. Three out of four workers say they speak about mental health openly at work and 58% of them say they do so at least once a week.
Over half of workers, in fact, say that they are comfortable talking about mental health at work –32% are neutral and 15% are uncomfortable talking about it, however.
Their main reasons for their discomfort are that they feel it is a private matter (58%), stigma (33%), and worries about undermining their credibility as a worker (31%).
Mental health in the workplace is a complex issue
What all of this data suggests is that the state of workers’ mental health is complex. It is not a black and white scenario where we can say things are just good or just bad.
The comfort and actuality of talking about mental health at work are both shocking and encouraging. But a quarter of workers quitting their jobs due to its negative impact on their mental health is also shocking and profoundly discouraging.
In terms of continuing to trend in the right direction, employers are encouraged to improve their workers’ work-life balance, diminish the load placed on overworked employees, and increase wages, given that these aspects are the most pressing sources of stress for workers.
Likewise, encouraging a space in which mental health is openly discussed, but also respects workers who wish not to discuss it, is imperative. This will help reduce the likelihood of workers feeling guilty when they take mental health days because doing so becomes normalized.
This is surely easier said than done and is likely to yield some uninspiring results through trial and error. Especially considering different data that suggests 83% of workers are emotionally drained from their work, and 59% of which say that supervisors and managers do not provide enough support.
Nevertheless, trending in this direction will benefit employees and employers by improving the mental health, productivity, and well-being of the latter, thus the time, money, energy, and likely also the mental health of the former.
Many companies are luckily heading in this direction – 4 out of 5 respondents say that their companies do enough in the front of mental health – and most (86%) workers who have mental health benefits do use them.
Thus, there is reason to be optimistic about mental health in the workplace.
More people than probably ever in history are comfortable enough to talk openly about mental health, and access to mental health recourses from the workplace is expanding.
However, there is a lot of work to be done and still many problems that justify some pessimism about the future of work. If a quarter of respondents quit their jobs because their job is so bad that it negatively impacts their mental health, what does this mean?
At the very least, it means there is a crisis of mental health in many workplaces still, despite widespread gains. Companies and management need to take ownership of these failings if they are to solve them for the benefit of their employees and businesses’ future.
Part of this will require decreasing workloads – potentially by hiring more workers, but more likely by establishing a more appropriately organized system for your workers.
But it will also require better wages and more flexibility. Following a healthy organization model is an effective way to start.