It may come as no surprise to learn that 2020 has been the most stressful year in history for the global workforce, with repercussions of the COVID pandemic negatively affecting the mental health of 78% of workers worldwide.
A study released by Oracle and research house Workplace Intelligence this week found that the majority of employees are suffering from one or more mental health challenges, including more stress (38%), a lack of work-life balance (35%), burnout (25%), depression (25%), and loneliness (14%).
A significant number are also struggling with increased pressure to meet performance standards (42%), and juggling unmanageable workloads (41%).
Employees facing more pressure, in tandem with signals from leadership, will be more likely to turn a blind eye to misconduct, or even take the approach that it’s even tolerated and engage in it themselves. This can be a time bomb for a business and quickly makes things worse.
As the Oracle study shows, 42% of respondents said workplace stress, anxiety, or depression causes their productivity to plummet and 40% said it leads to an increase in poor decision making. Both of these can cost a business in the long term.
The Oracle study identified a clear trend in employees asking for technological solutions to help address mental health. With so much stigma still attached to mental health, it’s often difficult to ask a person for fear of identifying yourself.
This resonates with some of the work we’ve been doing with customers recently to help them expose other resources they have invested in for employees, including those that support mental health.
We’ve had an employee came to us discretely and anonymously inquire if there are resources for mental health support, or domestic violence, or even to raise concerns about their work environment in light of COVID. Our “Report to Bullyid” platform is more accessible and feels less daunting than putting a request in to HR.
The key is to normalize speaking up at work (or home) as this gives employees “the feeling that we are willing to listen and act and that’s really at the heart of what we are doing in terms of accountability.”