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3 in 4 Brit knowledge workers say poor mental health is impacting their career

Woman looking sad

With the future of work now changed forever in the post-pandemic landscape, more and more companies are finally doubling down on their efforts to improve employee mental wellbeing. But how can one start to make real, tangible changes without knowing where they stand?

Awareness is key when taking decisive action. This is why Unmind, the workplace mental health platform, quizzed 400 UK-based knowledge workers at large businesses about their attitude to workplace wellbeing and mental health – adding to a wider global snapshot of how companies perceive staff mental health and wellbeing, the steps they’ve taken improve it, and what barriers remain in place (1200 surveyed in total across the UK, US and AUS/NZ)

From this research, it was discovered that in the UK:

  • Three out of four (74%) say their career is impacted by mental health, yet over a third (32%) don’t expect any mental health support at work.
  • Over half of respondents (51%) said that mental health culture impacts their decision to join or stay with a company.
  • Three in five (59%) say they find it hard to fit mental health and self-care practises into their day – with almost two fifths (37%) noting a lack of time as the reason behind this
  • Two in five (40%) opened up about finding mental health and wellbeing confusing, particularly those between 18 and 34 of age (52% of respondents in this age bracket)
  • Approximately 64% of those surveyed feel they’re responsible for supporting their colleagues’ mental wellbeing at work, but only around half (55%) feel confident to do so.
  • As employee benefits, wellbeing apps are considered more significant than free food – maybe a case to stop the pizza parties!
  • Lack of sleep, work related stress and anxiety were cited as the top three blockers to better managing mental health
  • For those wanting to better take the reins of their mental health (79%)smart devices and wearables such as the Fitbit or Apple Watch are the most popular support tool being used (42%), ahead of more traditional methods such as books, videos and courses

To help businesses level-up their workplace wellbeing plans and better support staff, Unmind has created a handy guide outlining this research and how it can help narrow down those pain points companies are struggling to target – all ahead of World Wellbeing Week (June 27 – July 1)

Speaking on this research, Dr Sofia Gerbase, Clinical Psychologist at Unmind said: “Wellbeing can be cultivated and nurtured on both an individual and organisational level and businesses, particularly leaders, have a responsibility in setting the tone to drive a mentally healthy culture.

“Once organisations prioritise mental health – focusing on work systems, structures, and staff through a top-down, whole-organisation approach – real change can happen. A viable, comprehensive wellbeing strategy that includes proactive and preventative whole-person support and takes a whole-organisation approach is an important part of this.

“To deliver change in their working environments, organisations can start by upskilling their team leaders through evidence-based, wellbeing-centred interventions. For example, training can help leaders to better understand and support employees who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Leaders can also learn the importance of normalising conversations around mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and how to role model healthy behaviours.”

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