Seven in 10 Indian workers admit to experiencing stress at work at least once a week, according to a study by Always Designing for People (ADP), global payroll and HR leader recently.
The findings of the research were revealed in ADP’s Global Workforce View 2020 Report, which explored employees’ attitudes and opinions towards the current world of work and their expectations and hopes from the workplace of the future.
Of the 1,908 workers surveyed in India, 70 per cent admitted to experiencing stress at least once during the working week on a regular basis. Levels of stress amongst the Indian workforce are significantly higher than the Asia-Pacific average of 60 per cent. The survey also found that Indians were amongst the most likely within APAC to discuss mental health problems at work. About 89 per cent respondents said they would be comfortable talking to someone at work about their mental health.
Rahul Goyal, managing director, ADP India, said, “For business owners, leaders and managers, there is a duty of care to foster a work environment that prioritises its employees’ mental health and wellbeing. While being under pressure is a normal part of life, the number Indian workers reporting that they are experiencing stress on a weekly basis suggests we are falling short.”
He maintained, “It is widely accepted that stress can cause or exacerbate existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Mental health has a huge impact upon people, communities, businesses and the economy. Alongside the ethical considerations to creating a supportive and productive work environment, we know there is a strong business case to be made too.”
A 2019 WHO study highlighted that anxiety and depression disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in lost productivity. Workforces with lower incidences of mental stress are likely to be more productive, have higher levels of employee retention and report fewer days absence from the workplace due to sickness.
In a positive development, the new data from ADP proposes improvements made in recent years to discuss and educate about mental health are taking hold. Indian workers are amongst the most likely in APAC to be open with their peers or managers on mental health issues in the workplace.
The data shows India has made excellent progress in engaging in an open dialogue on mental health. Digging deeper and moving quickly to understand how India has achieved this, can facilitate replication in other markets, where progress in discussing mental health in the workplace remains slow and stagnant.
Work-life balance is often a strong indicator of mental health in the workplace. About 46 per cent of Indian workers are working 6-10 hours weekly, without being paid for the same. This kind of unpaid overtime can be very demotivating in the long run. Flexibility is the need of the hour.