In light of Mental Health Awareness Week a couple of weeks ago, we decided to take a look into the main causes of work-related mental health issues and what measures are being taken to support employees' mental wellbeing at work.
We examined 8,000 job descriptions posted by UK employers over the past year, both on TalentPool and on third party job boards, to find out whether employers are addressing mental health in their offering to attract new talent.
61% of UK employees have suffered from work-related mental health issues (stress, anxiety, depression), which resulted in 15.4 million working days being lost last year.
The top causes of stress at work, the biggest threat to workplace health, are: an increased workload, long working hours, financial concerns, workplace politics and bad management. These factors not only have a negative impact on the daily lives of employees, but also result in increased absenteeism. It's estimated that £8 billion could be saved per year with better mental health support at work.
Out of the top 10 perks and benefits listed on the job descriptions we analysed, 4 can be categorised as so-called “wellness perks”: private healthcare, free or subsidised gym membership, flexible working and a cycle to work scheme.
It's clear from the data that employers can no longer afford to be ignoring the impact of poor mental health on their business - not only is it resulting in a less happy, less motivated and less productive workforce, but it's also costing them financially.
Mental health has long been a taboo subject, and discussions around it have too often been avoided. Although there is a still a long way to go, it's encouraging to see that there is increasing awareness around the topic and that employers are beginning to realise their responsibility when it comes to their employees' mental wellbeing.
Over the past year, we’ve definitely noticed a shift in focus in what employers are choosing to highlight in their job descriptions to promote their workplace, with wellness perks now taking a more prominent position. Not only do these perks help to attract top talent who now expect these sorts of benefits as standard, it's clear that investing in them also pays off in the long run with increased retention rates of healthy employees.
What's got us talking this week?
🎧 How Spotify Saved the Music Industry | Freakonomics
“Daniel Ek, a 23-year-old Swede who grew up on pirated music, made the record labels an offer they couldn’t refuse: a legal platform to stream all the world’s music. Spotify reversed the labels’ fortunes, made Ek rich, and thrilled millions of music fans. But what has it done for all those musicians stuck in the long tail?”
📚 How brands get their names, explained by a professional namer | Vox
“To keep up with this constant zigzagging of which forms of English can sell, brands hire people like Rachel Bernard. She’s had some extremely cool job titles, like the Director of Naming and Vice President of Verbal Strategy at major agencies, and is now a freelance creative strategist, where she helps companies determine product strategy.”
📚 Using Wi-Fi to “see” behind closed doors is easier than anyone though | MIT Technology Review
“Wi-Fi fills our world with radio waves. In your home, in the office, and increasingly on city streets, humans are bathed in a constant background field of 2.4- and 5-gigahertz radio signals. And when people move, they distort this field, reflecting and refracting the waves as they go.”
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