credit: The Afro News
Healthy workplaces get the best out of everyone and positively influence community attitudes towards mental health. Businesses that care about good mental health attract and keep top talent because they’re great places to work. Research has shown that, on average, every dollar spent creating a mentally healthy workplace results in a positive ROI of $2.30. The facts are clear: as well as benefiting employees, a mentally healthy workplace is also better for your bottom line. Heads Up provides free, practical information and resources to create mentally healthy workplaces.
Healthy workplaces get the best out of everyone and positively influence community attitudes towards mental health. Businesses that care about good mental health attract and keep top talent because they’re great places to work.
Mental illness is pervasive and costly. It is estimated that, at any given time, one in five working-age adults has a mental health problem, with the lifetime prevalence rate reaching up to 50 percent. Interestingly, most individuals with mental health issues are employed. Consequently, much of the economic cost of mental illness occurs because workers with poor mental health – most of whom do not access social assistance – are simply less productive.
Much of the economic cost of mental illness stems from workers’ reduced productivity. Using nationally representative panel data we analyze the links between mental health and two alternative workplace productivity measures – absenteeism and presenteeism (i.e., lower productivity while attending work) – explicitly allowing these relationships to be moderated by the nature of the job itself. We find that absence rates are approximately five percent higher among workers who report being in poor mental health.
Moreover, job conditions are related to both presenteeism and absenteeism even after accounting for workers’ self-reported mental health status. Job conditions are relatively more important in understanding diminished productivity at work if workers are in good rather than poor mental health. The effects of job complexity and stress on absenteeism do not depend on workers’ mental health, while job security and control moderate the effect of mental illness on absence days.
Most people spend approximately 60% of their waking hours at work (Black, 2008). With an understanding of the financial and human costs of workplace mental health, employers are better able to develop action plans for improving both employee well-being and the bottom line.
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