Calm Business recently released their annual Mental health at work trends survey, and found that more than half of the respondents reported feeling anxious, stressed and having trouble sleeping. The reason behind their monkey brain? Work.
Forty-two percent of respondents said job challenges are the top reasons for seeking mental health care, followed by personal illness, coping with a family member’s illness, losing a loved one, and deal with financial stress.
“The data is clear: stress at work is a leading cause of mental health problems for people in the US,” said David Ko, CEO of Calm. “This needs to change. And to make change, we as leaders and employers need to be acutely aware of our employees’ diverse experiences and the impact this has on how they show up at work.”
Read more: Long story short, make 2023 the year you achieve work-life balance
Employees find it difficult to leave their work stress to the 9-to-5: 50% said stress also affects their relationships with family, friends and themselves. And while work causes them stress, employees are not convinced that they are doing enough to solve the problem. Calm data showed that while 67% believe employers should be responsible for providing mental health support, only 32% said their employer offers mental health programs and benefits.
To better support employees, it takes more than just benefits: employees want managers to be trained in this conscious and empathetic leadership practices. Forty percent believe managers should be trained to be more self-aware, better able to regulate emotions and reduce stress in their work environment.
In addition, employees say they want wellness allowances and PTO days to help them prioritize their mental health. Thirty-seven percent of employees would like technology solutions that address sleep and stress issues.
“Employers need to develop mental health strategies that respond to it [to employees]says Ko. “Our mission with Calm Business is to partner with employers in developing these strategies – providing them with effective mental health resources and tools to center mental health in their workplace.”
Read more: 8 low-cost apps to help employees manage their mental health
But even for employees who manage their stress well, their family’s mental health can take a toll. A quarter of respondents said they noticed their children feeling depressed or hopeless all the time. A quarter of parents have missed work to take care of their children’s mental health care.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, women are more likely than men to be consumed with their mental well-being of the child, which leads to more stress for themselves. While 50% of women say they think about their children’s mental health at work, 33% of men admit to worrying. Forty percent of women say they take less care of their mental health now that they have children, compared to 30% of men.
There may be a bright spot for employees when it comes to the working arrangements that organizations offer. Calm found that hybrid workers are best able to manage their stress and prioritize self-care, followed by those who work full-time in the office. Home workers were the least likely to say they felt happy because of increased loneliness.
“From navigating new remote or hybrid office structures to supporting employees at major global events, we are required to rethink how we lead and build strong workplace cultures,” said Scott Domann, Chief People Officer of Calm. “As we enter a new year, people and benefits leaders need to address these blind spots to ensure all staff feel heard, supported and represented in their workplace mental health benefits.”