More than 70 per cent of workers in London admit to feeling stress at work, with a further 58 per cent agreeing that their mental health had been affected by their job at some point in their career. These results follow the publication of Investors in People’s first Managing Mental Health report, part of a research campaign into workplace mental wellbeing launched in early April.
The results for London show that stress and workplace mental health conditions are impacting the region to a lesser extent than the national average, where 80 per cent of workers reported feeling stressed at work.
IIP’s findings also revealed that 41 per cent of workers in London felt that they could trust their manager with their mental health concerns. This suggests that as a region, trust between line managers and teams is slightly stronger than the national picture, where 40 per cent would trust a manager with this sort of issue. In contrast, 53 per cent of workers in London feel that they could discuss their mental health with a colleague, clearly suggesting that office hierarchy might deter some workers from discussing their mental health with management. This is important as although peers can provide informal day-to-day support, managers have the power to adjust job roles and flexibility; tangible changes which might have a meaningful impact on wellbeing in the long run.
Investors in People also sought to identify the extent to which mental health support would be a priority for an employee in London, over and above other employee incentives like a 3 per cent pay rise.
· 23 per cent of workers would rather have workplace support for their mental health than a 3 per cent pay rise
· 24 per cent would rather have a trustworthy manager than a 3 per cent pay rise
· 32 per cent would rather have a comprehensive healthcare package than a 3 per cent pay rise
IIP CEO Paul Devoy: “The findings of Investors in People’s first ever Managing Mental Health report suggest that, for workers in London, stress and associated mental health worries at work are a significant presence. The fact that just 38 per cent feel that their workplace encourages an open culture around mental health is concerning, particularly given the research by Stevenson and Farmer which showed that poor mental health at work could be costing the UK economy as much as £99 billion per year.
Paul continued, “Workers in this region were most likely to say that improving the office culture around mental health was the change that their organisation could make if they wanted to better support employee mental health. Our Managing Mental Health report has given employers the insights they need to affect meaningful change in this area; it is vital that they take heed.”