In a recent survey of companies of all sizes across the UK, Towergate Health & Protection reveals that the biggest concern for nearly half of all employers (49%) is the mental health of their employees now that remote working has become accepted practice.
49% of employers had stated that Mental Health had topped the list of concerns along with social wellbeing being the biggest concern for 39% employers with financial health and physical health both being the biggest concern for 30% of employers. The survey showed that they had no concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of their employees within their new remote working routine.
Head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Wellbeing, Debra Clark says: “Employers are right to be concerned about the mental health of their employees. Our working styles have changed, and health and wellbeing support must now also change to provide for the current needs of a hybrid workforce.”
Mental health supports all the other pillars of health and wellbeing. Therefore employers must implement strong mental health support and make sure that the usual communication is continued with all employees, to ensure they are aware of what support is available to them ad how to access this.
Benefiting from existing options
Support for mental health is often included under other employee benefits. Many employees will have access to an employee assistance program. This could be a standalone policy or through group life, income protection or critical illnesss cover. EAPS’s can offer a variety of levels of counselling including cash plans and counselling support.
Employers may also consider providing standalone support, not linked to other benefits. This may include access to online or face-to-face counselling, specialist courses, or training mental health first aiders to signpost people to specialist help.
There are now many online options for providing mental health support to employees. These include apps that monitor mood and have tools to help build resilience. These can help employees to manage their feelings and spot an issue before it develops into something more significant.
Debra Clark concludes: “Mental health is a spectrum, and everyone must consider their emotional wellbeing at some level. Support in the workplace now ranges from resilience training to stress and anxiety management, to assistance for more serious cases of mental ill health. It is important that employers are fully aware of what is available and communicate to their employees as to where to find help.”
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