|85% Somewhat or very concerned
|8% Neither concerned nor unconcerned
|7% Not very or not at all concerned
Almost half (49%) put employee mental health in their top three concerns, often citing the ongoing stress of “trying to juggle everything” — and the anxiety and depression that can result. Female employees have been especially hard hit by school disruptions, erasing gains in equality and endangering their families’ financial well-being.
As evidence of the mounting pressure, more than half (58%) of employers said employees had been increasing their use of the mental health or wellness benefits offered at work, and two-thirds (67%) said they thought usage would increase even more in the coming months.
|20% No change
|6% Not sure
Many indicators of employee stress were worrying global mental health experts even before the pandemic. “Lifestyle and stress-related illnesses had been surpassing communicable diseases, and burnout was reclassified by the World Health Organization as a workplace condition and occupational risk rather than a health condition,“according to Dr. Kristen Lee, Lead Faculty for Behavioral Science at Northeastern University.
The pandemic has accelerated the arrival of the crisis, and coping with it is now a business-critical issue.
People are isolated, working remotely without a support system, trying to
provide childcare and elder care — a lot of issues will affect productivity.
Vice President of Global Total Rewards at Unum
“People are isolated, working remotely without a support system, trying to provide childcare and elder care — a lot of issues will affect productivity,” says Unum's Rob Hecker. “Employers need to get creative in developing programs and services to help employees better cope — and even thrive — in this challenging situation.”
Fortunately, nearly two in three (61%) employers have plans or offerings in place that specifically address their employees’ mental health needs. The most frequently mentioned offerings include counseling or therapy — often on site and employer-paid, employee assistance programs (EAPs), helplines/hotlines, telemedicine, and additional time off.
These benefits will be critical well into 2021. Because fall is also typically the height of enrollment season, some are concerned that the recent shift to virtual and hybrid worksites will complicate how employees enroll in their benefits. Read on to learn how some employers are changing their communication strategies as a result.
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