Prioritizing Employees’ Mental Health in a Time of Change

Prioritizing Employees’ Mental Health in a Time of Change
Prioritizing Employees’ Mental Health in a Time of Change

Key Takeaways

  • 40 percent of employees in the workplace say their coworkers are stressed or have low morale.
  • Employees reported being more engaged after their employer implemented solutions to improve work-from-home conditions.

As businesses adjust to a new normal during the pandemic, remote workers and those who have returned to the office have faced challenges. A considerable number of remote workers report feeling less connected to their companies, as well as difficulty staying focused, and nearly 40 percent of employees in the workplace say their coworkers are stressed or have low morale.  

In 4,800 online interviews with working adults in eight countries, conducted in partnership with Harris Interactive, one in seven employees said their mental well-being was lower than normal, driven by uncertainty about the future, anxiety about the pandemic, and the health of people they know. Those thoughts and emotions, reported in June 2021, arose even before the increase in coronavirus cases caused by the Delta variant.  

While some employees took steps to improve their mental well-being, such as practicing yoga, taking anxiety medication or consulting a doctor, one in three did not act.

Lower mental well-being undoubtedly impacts work productivity, and a strong majority of employees feel their employer could help improve their state of mind. About 40 percent of the adults surveyed said it is their employer’s responsibility to provide them with mental health solutions. Sodexo is supporting its teams by recognizing World Mental Health Day, which falls on Oct. 10, 2021.

In observance of this day, Sodexo Canada promotes this year’s theme– Mental health care for all: let's make it a reality–by providing multiple resources and workshops, encouraging teams to plan activities or events throughout the week of October 4. From toolkits and posters to group meditations and mental health webinars, employees are empowered to help stamp out stigma surrounding mental health and promote mental health awareness.

An employer’s actions can positively impact workers. Employees reported being more engaged after their employer implemented solutions to improve work-from-home conditions.  

There are multiple ways companies can support their employees’ mental health and well-being. Enhanced offerings that resonate with employees include counselling services, discounted gym memberships, access to virtual medical consultations, mental health support, and health and fitness services employees can use whether they’re working from the office or remotely.  

In the workplace, employees seek areas where they can withdraw for quiet, personal time, as well as areas to socialize and interact with their colleagues. Outside spaces and those dedicated to physical or mental well-being are also effective additions. 

Companies can also support employees with rewards programs to celebrate birthdays, work successes, and good performance. Concierge and personal support to assist with work-life demands, and childcare services, resonate with employees as well. Meal solutions, with or without subsidies, and food delivery services for workstations or homes can also support employees’ well-being.  

Improving quality of life has been Sodexo’s mission for more than 50 years, and our commitment starts with our employees.  

Visit our website to know more about our people centric approach and for career opportunities.

1 Survey conducted by Sodexo in partnership with Harris Interactive, comprised of 4,800 online interviews representative of employees across France, the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.S., Australia and China collected from June 11 to June 21, 2021.