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Updated on: Thursday, October 07, 2021, 07:29 PM IST

Support for mental health in India fares higher than global average, reveals study

Around 70 percent of workers in India said their employer supported their mental wellbeing compared to 65 percent globally./Representative image | Photo by Pexels

Around 70 percent of workers in India said their employer supported their mental wellbeing compared to 65 percent globally./Representative image | Photo by Pexels

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The good news first. Support for mental health in India fared higher than the global average. According to a study by leading payroll and human capital management (HCM) technology provider, ADP titled ‘People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View’, around 70 percent of workers in India said their employer supported their mental wellbeing compared to 65 per cent globally.

"It’s great to see so many businesses recognising the emotional and psychological toll the pandemic is having on their workforce and putting constructive measures in place to help them handle it," Rahul Goyal, ADP’s Managing Director of India and Southeast Asia, said.

Goyal further noted that "it is interesting but unsurprising to see Indian employees feel more supported compared to the rest of the world. Many Indian companies during the pandemic have helped employees with regular reach-outs, 24/7 counseling helplines, and even additional leave specifically for mental wellbeing."

Despite the support, stress caused by the pandemic has still been a significant challenge for workers in India.

The global study of more than 32,000 people noted that due to COVID-19, employees'' time and productivity are being increasingly monitored, risking further stress. Moreover, 1 in 3 respondents said they have taken on extra responsibilities since the pandemic.

Staying healthy and balancing work and family needs were rated as the biggest challenges at work since COVID-19 began, as cited by almost 20 per cent of workers.

Creating a safe home working environment and stress management were the biggest challenges by around 12 per cent, followed by maintaining productivity (9 per cent) and building relationships (7 per cent).

Globally, the study also found that more than 62 per cent of participants say that their employer is more closely monitoring time and work attendance. This increased to 72 per cent for workers in India.

"Efforts to support the mental wellbeing of staff are positive, however, employers are keeping such close tabs on attendance and time-management. This can add to feelings of stress and anxiety for workers," Goyal said.

This change in the way employees work has thrown up a multitude of new challenges for workers and businesses alike. While employers need to adapt quickly, they must also tread carefully.

Being seen to be appropriately managing issues around stress, wellbeing, productivity, and morale is likely to be a key preoccupation for managers and HR teams alike going forward.

"HR departments can lead the way in improving culture and workplace practices moving forward. Understanding how teams and managers work together and using employee data to identify opportunities for improvement is the first step," Goyal said.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published on: Thursday, October 07, 2021, 07:30 PM IST
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