According to research by Firstcare and The Centre for Economic and Business workplace absence costs UK businesses £18bn a year. A rising number of these absences are related to stress and anxiety.
The number one cause of absence from work is musculoskeletal conditions, these are often associated with stress and poor posture. Coming out second on the list was stress and anxiety.
A report published by the Mental Health Foundation to mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness week showed that just 13 per cent of people told researchers that they have good mental health.
Adrian Lewis, Director of absence management software company, Activ Absence says, “Stress is a rising workplace epidemic employers just can’t afford to ignore. The CIPD reported that one in three people have suffered from mental health issues, but this new Mental Health Foundation report suggests that figures could be far higher.”
“Often employers are only aware of issues when an employee is signed off sick with stress, which is too late – by this point, productivity could have been affected for months and the employee will have suffered both at home and work – it’s a lose-lose for everyone involved.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. With current, affordable technology, companies can monitor employee absence patterns and feedback from return to work interviews to produce detailed reports and analysis which show the true picture of health and mental wellbeing of their workforce.
“These powerful insights will ensure accurate targeting of staff wellbeing initiatives so that critical wellness spending is not wasted, and can help HR and line managers proactively identify employees with possible mental health challenges at an earlier stage, enabling better workplace support.
“We would like to see employers encouraging greater openness about mental health so sufferers don’t feel isolated, stigmatized or scared they will lose their jobs if they admit to having problems. It’s important to send a clear message that workers who are suffering from stress or depression will receive support and not judgement.
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