1 in 4 workers in need of mental health support


A quarter of workers are in need of employer support with their mental wellbeing, while 1 in 5 feel they will need help re-adjusting to office life.


The figures come from a new poll by reward and benefits provider Edenred which surveyed 2,000 UK employees about their working life over the past 12 months.


According to the figures, 1 in 4 workers feel in need of mental health support and 17% feel they will need help getting back to their usual workplace.


Of those surveyed, 64% had been working from home over the past year, twice the number who were working from home at the start of 2020.


Despite most respondents being satisfied with the support they received from their employer over the past year (81%), including in areas such as managing work-life balance (73%), working with others (72%), and physical wellbeing (71%), employees remain dissatisfied in other ways.


Almost two thirds (61%) of workers are regularly working outside of their contracted hours, which may be driving drops in job satisfaction (35%), concerns over job security (31%), and dissatisfaction in work-life balance (27%).


Too little, or a complete lack of, rewards for effort (32%), recognition from employers (21%), HR policy (44%), and employee benefits (58%) are other key concerns.


“The coming weeks are a critical period for employers who want to ensure their people and their organisations are in the best place to thrive as we emerge from lockdown," said Alisdair Seenan, HR Director at Edenred UK.


"Having done a good job of getting our people through the last 12 months, we now need to act fast to ensure that whatever model of working your organisation embraces, you have the right policy, working practices and tools to meet the changing needs of your people."



Read more: Despite persistent stigma, workers are optimistic about the future of mental health in the workplace



Recent reports of developments over the past year suggest a mixed response from employers regarding mental health support for their employees.


A recent survey from CoursesOnline shows that, despite around 60% of employers having implemented new mental health policies, the remainder have not.


The lack of action from some employers may be driving the very low number of workers who say they would talk to a colleague or human resources about their mental health (4%) – a figure substantially less popular than talking to nobody at all (10%).

Referring to the survey's findings, CoursesOnline General Manager, Sarah-Jane McQueen suggested it was time for the additional 40% of businesses to take action:


"For the 40% of organisations not 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," said McQueen.


"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.”


To read the full report from Edenred, click here.