Mental Health Impacting Productivity – HRO Today

Issues of tiredness, high stress, and lack of well-being are driving a lagging performance. 

By Maggie Mancini

Workplace productivity in the U.K. is declining, according to Champion Health’s Workplace Health Report. With nearly 70% of people rating their productivity as average or worse, employees are impacted by exhaustion, burnout, high stress, and other health issues. Just over 30% of workers rate their productivity as above average or high, the report finds.  

So, what’s causing this decline? The top three issues impacting productivity have remained the same over the last year, with tiredness being the most common (61%), followed by high stress (32%) and poor mental health (25%). There has also been an uptick in those citing mental health as a productivity drain (20% increase).  

Another notable concern is the prevalence of women’s health issues impacting productivity, with 22% of women saying that female health issues can negatively impact productivity and 32% saying that menopause is negatively impacting their performance.  

When it comes to mental health, factors such as poor concentration, low motivation, and fatigue can make it harder to focus on tasks, make decisions, and meet critical deadlines, the report finds.  

Laura Dallas, head of product at Champion Health, says in the report that there are three things employers can do to support employees experiencing mental health challenges.  

  1. Keep communication channels open to help employees feel listened to and supported.  
  2. Encourage flexible work arrangements so employees can manage and alleviate symptoms.  
  3. Educate leaders and managers on mental health issues so they can help improve work performance.  

Compared to 2023, more employees are fatigued or extremely fatigued, while less are energised, the report says. Employees cite being their most energetic at 10:18 a.m. and their least energetic at 3:28 p.m.  

Another aspect of mental health and well-being is sleep, though 71% of employees rate their sleep as average or worse and more than one in three employees rate their sleep as poor. Though sleep sometimes feels like an “outside of work” issue, there are some ways that employers can support their employees and help them get better sleep. The report recommends: 

  • improving their work environment; 
  • encouraging movement breaks; and 
  • addressing the root causes of declining sleep quality. 

A bad work culture can negatively impact a company’s success and reduce talent retention, the report finds. Research indicates that employees who feel supported at work and feel part of their team are nearly six times more productive than those who don’t feel supported or included.  

Those who answered no to feeling supported at work tend to experience lower levels of well-being, highlighting the importance of employers taking proactive measures to creative supportive work cultures.  

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