Mental wellness – the most overlooked resource at work

Just as no one jumps out of the airplane without a parachute, there is no point in risking your mental health by jumping back to work without having the right mental attitude to deal with the work overload and external stressors. After the summer holidays, all those who still have jobs will probably face even more intense work efforts as there is now plenty of economic turmoil around us. Surviving or thriving during such a tough time demands excellent intrapersonal skills that protect your mental health and enable you and your team to focus on your work efficiently.

According to research, the basic truths are as follows:

  • About 80% of employees experience stress;
  • Stress reduces work capacity and increases the risk of both physical and mental illness;
  • Stress, and especially positive stress, is a source of burnout. A worker in the final stages of burnout is absent from work for 1-6 months or is forced to give up work to restore health;
  • The overlap between final burnout and depression is up to 86% in research.

Treatment of depression or anxiety disorders usually lasts several years and requires medication, doctor visits, and, most likely reoccurring sick leaves. And there is plenty to worry and stress as we come to contact with constant negative news, many of us face income cuts, see cancellations of contracts and experience the difficulty of working from our homes with children being around us the whole time. We often cannot influence those external factors, but what we can do is to change our minds so that we would be prepared to deal keep a calm mind and respond adequately.

The global pandemic made the importance of timely prevention obvious. It is time now to use also preventative measures in case of mental health.

Deloitte UK has pointed out earlier this year that prevention is not only cost-effective but has an excellent ROI. Their report “Mental health and employers. Refreshing the case for investment” found that on average, ROI into mental health at work showed £5 gain for every £1 spent, but the best ROI is found in proactive training that can secure excellent mental wellness for all of your employees by changing the existing workplace culture towards a more sustainable and well-being focused one. ROI in such cases is even tenfold.

It is evident that only when employees who have an opportunity to proactively learn how to stay mentally well can secure a more sustainable way of handling and preventing burnout and even more serious work-related mental health problems. Prevention focused intrapersonal training can easily translate to healthy, happy and productive employees.

The proactive mental wellness approach eliminates the biggest problem for employers – presenteeism that is basically “showing the body” at work, without doing the actual work. So it is evident that investing in mental wellness is an investment, not an expense. How many activities are there that offer you today a tenfold increase in your investment?

Mental wellness is a win-win deal

Both the employee and the employer benefit from good mental wellness. However, the lack of mental health is causing a total loss as the employee and his family loses as well as the employer and even the society will lose. Treating mental illness is costly and always includes personal dramas.

Deloitte UK has calculated that unnoticed loss per employee every year can be as high as 3,700 € per employee. Also, here in Estonia, the employer faces a fine up to € 32 000 € if the employer has not mapped and reduced mental health risks at work. Let’s calculate what it could mean to you if you have a workplace with just 10 employees in the finance or real-estate sector where those expenses are the highest. Your total business loss could up to 69 000 € (37 000 € per year for unnoticed salary expenses + 32 000 € in case of the maximum fine). That seems a huge sum to lose.

But things change slowly. During the last 3 years of continuous mental health campaigns across the UK, only 9% of employees have received mental health-focused training by their employer according to Deloitte UK. Here in Estonia, this percentage is probably well below one percent!

The paradox is, what we do not notice as a loss, does not seem to be a problem. But remember, we also noticed the importance of our personal and business freedom only when the restrictions of pandemic fell over us all. The huge loss and pain from mental illness are obvious to everyone who has lost their mental well-being. But then it is far too late…

Stop and make a difference now

It would be wise for you to investigate your current hidden mental health costs in a situation where about 87% of employees experience stress (this is the average number of employees experiencing stress based on the study carried out in 23 countries by Cigna last year)! In another study, Investors in People looked at stress figures by age group, and the result was that young people are most vulnerable to stress, the statistics are shown in the image below.


In case you are not among the lucky 13-20% who do not experience stress at all and enjoy good mental well-being, then now you have a good opportunity to help your team by watching and sharing this video. And in case you already face problems, this is your opportunity to train your mind so that you can improve your mental fitness.

We are sure if people only knew that all work-related mental health problems are preventable, no one would choose suffering and costly treatment.

Wellness Orbit is focused on securing mental fitness for all employees. Come and find the best mental wellness training for your team now on their homepage: wellnessorbit.com

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