Employees feel they need more mental health services than what is available to them in the workplace.
Survey data by Headspace for Work has found that employees are more burned out at work now than at the beginning of the pandemic and they’re leaning on their employers for mental health benefits. According to a survey of more than 5,000 working adults in the U.S. and four other countries across 21 industries, employees reported “work stress, burnout, and more of a need for work-life balance” this year than last. At the same time, however, respondents reported their places of work are doing a poor job supporting their mental health during the pandemic with fewer mental health resources available than before the coronavirus (a 13% decrease).
The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that burnout is a stress induced which causes extreme exhaustion and is up “10% in the U.S. (8% higher globally) in 2021” compared with a 2020 survey. The latest Headspace questionnaire was sent to employees in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Australia, and included respondents from the healthcare, education, retail, telecom, tech, finance, and manufacturing industries.
“We see things steadily improving, but we still have a long road to help people find a state of normal and for employers to provide the needed resources to support employee mental health,” said Cindy Bladow, Chief Business Officer at Headspace. “People are still trying to adjust to a situation that is changing constantly, and the stress is taking a toll on everyone. Employer-provided mental health solutions have never been more in demand.”
When they are available, more employees are using mental health services than last year, too, with nearly two-thirds taking advantage of these services, “59% reported use in May 2020, compared with 64% in 2021 – an 8.5% increase,” according to the survey findings. Yet, fewer employees think their places of employment are doing a good job of responding to the pandemic, “41% to 29%.,” and “18% fewer employees report having employer-provided mental health solutions at their disposal in 2021 compared with 2020.”
“Talent leaders who want to attract and retain great workers need to address the rise of employee burnout and answer the call for employer-provided mental health solutions,” said Dr. Clare Purvis, Senior Director of Behavioral Science, Headspace. “Employees are telling us they want solutions that will help them minimize their stress, find more focus, and bring their best selves to work.”
In general, in 2021, women reported a slightly higher need for services. According to Headspace, “women (58%) remain more stressed than men (46%), reporting being stressed or extremely stressed.” Other important findings included: “Employees’ use of mental health solutions is up 8.5%, increasing from 59% in 2020 to 64% in 2021; Three in four people say mental health solutions should be backed by science, unchanged from last year’s survey; Fewer employers are providing mental health solutions to employees (-13%), even though more than half of all employees believe employer-provided mental health solutions are essential benefits; Financial worries (47%) and work-life balance (38%) remain top sources of stress, followed by work-related stress at 36%. Fewer people cited health or politics as sources of stress, which fell 18% and 41%, respectively.”