According to the latest data from the Health and Safety Executive, work-related mental ill health is on the rise. In 2018/19, 602,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety - but by 2020/21 that number had risen to 822,000. That’s a jump of 38%.
Yet even before the pandemic, multiple factors were conspiring to increase mental ill-health in the workplace, says Kate Field, Global Head, Health, Safety and Wellbeing, at business standards and improvement company, BSI.
“Heavy workloads, tight deadlines and the pressure and responsibility to ‘deliver’ all play a part in increasing the stress levels of employees,” notes Field. “Lack of managerial support can be another factor, as is organisational change. Humans don’t much like change - and change within a work context can be very unsettling and creates a stress response. And, of course, the pandemic was a time of huge change and disruption for everyone.”