About one in every two corporate employees in India is at high risk of mental health problems, showed a survey conducted by MPower, an initiative by the Aditya Birla Education Trust, in collaboration with IPSOS. Among the employees, the survey points out that female employees are more prone to high mental health risk.
In the survey, the authors say that the most ‘At risk’ profiles include female employees, senior employees, predominantly in sectors like FMCG, Automobile, Healthcare and E-Commerce. The findings come from a survey of 3,000 people across eight metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.
“Employee well-being programmes must be implemented to support those in need, and the destigmatization of mental health is urgently required to ensure equitable support for all employees. A physically and mentally healthy workforce is crucial for a country like India, which is relying on its youth for economic growth. Let’s prioritise mental health and take the necessary steps to create a healthier, more productive workforce for the betterment of our nation,” said Dr Neerja Birla, founder and chairperson of Mpower and Aditya Birla Education Trust.
According to these employees, job/work life plays a key role in impacting their mental health. The sector that was found to be most affected by this was the E-Commerce sector.
The report urges corporates, as one of the key stakeholders, to understand the mental health of employees in a scientific way and identify the drivers of mental health in the workplace. It promotes transformative policies and focused mental-health programmes for employees. It can help redefine the outlook for CSR funding and resources to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 3 – for good health and wellbeing. Most importantly, it can act as a guide for the creation of innovative public, private and community-based partnerships to strengthen the mental-health ecosystem.
- Every 9 out of 10 employees agreed that they lack work life balance.
- Close to ~80% of employees agreed that they have taken 2 weeks leave from work in the last year because of stress/ anxiety/ poor mental
- About 90% of employees’ agreed that they are expected to work on their leave days.
- Among employees ‘at risk’ of poor mental health, close to 67% agreed that they are expected to work every time they are on leave.
- With regard to WFH policy, majority of the employees feel that the remote working policy impacts their overall work productivity and hinders their professional growth.
- With regard to stereotypes, ~80% of female employees agreed that they face stereotypes at the workplace by their male colleagues, pertaining to their maternity leaves, and the need for female colleagues to compromise with their career post marriage.
- Among personal factors, about 4/10 employees strongly agreed about their family/ relationships causing immense stress.
- Nearly 40% of employees had an unhealthy sexual life, they felt dissatisfied due to the impact of stress on their sexual performance, leading to reduced wellbeing and overall health, especially among males in senior positions, and senior age groups, in major metro cities like India, Kolkata, etc.
- One out of every two employees faced other personal challenging situations like sudden expected change in the way of life and/or death of a loved one that significantly impacted their mental health.
- Nearly 50% of employees strongly felt the need for an alternative source of income and the need for a better financial wellness program to empower them.
- About 50% of employees faced unpleasant situations of insufficient salaries, followed by pay cuts which further added to their financial woes.
- In addressing overall health and wellbeing, ~10% of employees suffered from insomnia/disturbed sleep. Of these, ~80% felt that stress from professional life was the main reason for it, whereas, ~75% attributed to their stress due to their personal life. Some common ailments mentioned were fatigue, neck pain, back pain, hypertension, and diabetes, especially among men in senior roles in major cities.
- Nearly 90% of corporate employees mentioned that mental health and well-being is extremely important and they are very motivated to improve their mental and physical health.