The well-being and mental health of workers was already a growing concern in companies before the outbreak of the pandemic, but the complications of this last year have put even more focus on this aspect. Uncertainty, teleworking and new ways of operating are some of the causes that make 26% of Spanish workers have problems related to mental health today. Is what emerges from the report Mental Health Report, presented by QBE Insurance Group and prepared by Opinium.
An issue that especially the youngest suffer. So, 35% of workers between the ages of 18 and 34 report having problems related to mental health, while this percentage falls to 27% in the case of people between 35 and 54 years old, and to 16% in the case of those over 55 years of age.
Uncertainty about possible layoffs is one of the main concerns hanging over workers at the moment, with the consequent impact on their mental health. Spain is, by far, the country in which this issue most worries (68%), followed by Italy (36%), Germany (31%) and France and Sweden (both with 30%).
This malaise also has an impact on productivity. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, in a pre-Covid-19 analysis, that the global economy loses around a trillion dollars a year just from anxiety and depression. Along these lines, the aforementioned QBE Insurance Group report states that 17% of Spanish workers admit that they have made mistakes in their work related to the state of their mental health.
However, not everything is negative, and beyond the uncertainty, teleworking has also had beneficial consequences in the work environment. 55% of those surveyed consider that working from home has had a positive impact on their productivity, 37% believe that the relationship with their boss has improved, 36% defend that it has developed customer service, and 35% observe more collaboration between colleagues.
In general terms, Spaniards have a more positive than negative image of the company’s attitude in relation to their well-being, although there is still a great room for improvement ahead. Although 46% of workers think that the company is concerned about their situation, 27% say they do not agree with this statement. Furthermore, when it comes down to specific cases, the satisfaction percentage drops eight points. Thus, 38% say that they have received support from the company when they need it, while 27% deny it. 40% have witnessed that their colleagues have also had this help, but 29% consider that this has not occurred.
One of the big problems in this regard is that workers hide their problems because they fear losing their jobs if they share their concerns with the company. A situation that also occurs more markedly in Spain (39%), followed by Germany, where 31% of respondents prefer not to report this situation for fear that it will negatively affect their career. The study was completed by Italy (30%), France (27%) and Sweden (24%).
Regarding the solutions that could be implemented by companies, 43% of Spaniards consider that an increase in vacation days or mental health-related leave would be positive. Likewise, employees also propose motivational courses (31%), yoga classes (22%) and workshops to manage anxiety (22%). Finally, 21% demand that the company provide professional psychological help.
After these months in which 59% of those surveyed have worked from home for a long time, 38% consider that, for next year, their ideal model would be a hybrid system that alternates the remote with the face-to-face. For their part, 29% prefer to continue from home, while 28% choose to return to the office.