Technology can be detrimental to good mental health in the workplace

  • Technology has caused some mental issues, but it could also provide answers to the problem for better support and employee well-being.
  • UK organizations are required to use technology to help in cutting the growing costs for employers of poor mental condition in the workplace.
  • It is estimated that in any given week, one in six people of working age faces a common mental health problem such as stress, depression or anxiety. Most of us understand, from personal experiences or from friends and family, the tremendous personal cost this can entail.

UK employers also have costs to bear. They are now as high as £ 45 billion a year and have risen 16% in the past two years, according to our recent research .

Contribution of the World Economic Forum to mental health?

One out of four people will suffer from mental syndromes in their lifetime, estimated to cost the global economy to $ 6 trillion by 2030.

Mental disorders are the main cause of disability and poor quality of life among young people aged 10 to 24, accounting for up to 45% of the overall burden of disease in this age group. Globally, young people have the worst access to mental health systems for children and adolescents throughout life and at all stages of illness (especially the early stages).

In response, the Forum launched a series of global dialogues to discuss ideas, tools and architecture that public and private stakeholders can use to build an ecosystem for health promotion and mental disorder management.

One of the top current priorities is to support global efforts to achieve mental health outcomes – making key recommendations to meet global mental health targets, such as the Knowledge Portal. and the WHO Global Mental Health Action and Countdown .

During this time, companies have taken important steps, introducing more support than ever before and striving to create more open work cultures around mental health.

Our research also shows that this investment is beneficial, as employers get back 5 pounds for every pound they spend on mental health support.

But why do the costs to employers continue to go in the wrong direction?

Changes at work

Behind this complex picture, the concept of a culture of permanence combines with long-standing issues, such as the relatively low number of people reporting poor mental health at work.

Most of the financial costs identified are largely due to reduced productivity among the growing number of people who suffer from poor mental health but do not take the time to recover.

There is an appetite among us for the technology-based goodness solutions and wearables that communicate with our organization, as far as people are in control of their involvement and information.

With this in mind, we are thinking about new approaches we could develop to help people recognize and manage behaviors that blur the lines between “on” and “off”, as our professional and family lives are increasingly connected. .

We want to clearly show the benefits for our organizations, as well as for individuals, of taking the time to recover when they need it. We want to encourage people to talk openly about taking time to recover, the same way they would talk about physiotherapy.

When it comes to innovations in supporting mental health in the workplace, Miranda Wolpert of the Wellcome Trust rightly points out that workplaces have a critical role to play in thinking creatively about what is working and testing new ideas.

The possibility to flourish

Continuing to build a happy and healthy environment at Deloitte, which recruits approximately 6,000 people per year, is a responsibility I take incredibly seriously. Part of our goal is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive and well-being is at the heart of this process.

Recognizing the unintended effects of technology on our workplace is just as important as harnessing its potential – and even more so when it has the potential to harm our health.

That is why, in partnership with our customers, we will develop technology that integrates mental health and a culture of well-being into our business, rather than adding them.

With many UK employers committed to supporting employee mental health and with the help of organizations such as the City Mental Health Alliance and Mind , I am convinced that the collective power of business, government and the healthcare industry mental health can make a real difference to the health of workers across the country.


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