16 August 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
More than half of workers have struggled at some point with their mental wellbeing, according to a study by market research agency Opinium.
The study, carried out with Warwick University, also found that many of those who have struggled with their mental wellbeing have never told an employer (67 per cent).
When researchers asked those who did decide to voice their concerns (30 per cent) experiences varied across the board, with some being more positive than others.
Struggling with mental health problems is still a topic that people feel uncomfortable talking about at work. Three in 10 (30 per cent) sufferers say they did not take time off when they struggled with their mental wellbeing because they wanted to keep it to themselves. This compares with just 11 per cent of those experiencing physical ill-health not taking time off for this reason.
Only two-fifths (41 per cent) of workers feel that they can talk openly to their employers about their mental health and wellbeing despite three-fifths (62 per cent) of senior managers stating that their employees can talk openly about these issues.
Even though there were concerns about taking time off for mental wellbeing, those who did said that the time they took to rest and recover helped them feel much better on returning to work (53 per cent) and also improved their productivity at work (59 per cent).
Although this time off helped workers to be more productive and effective at work, 54 per cent still felt pressure to come back to work too early - suggesting that employers need to make it clear that employees should take time off for their mental wellbeing when they need to as this can help to reduce presenteeism.
Opinium conducted this research by polling 2,009 UK workers aged 18-plus from 12-26 March 2019.