Eight in 10 US workers say how employers support their employees’ mental health will be an important factor when looking for future job opportunities, while 71% believe their employer is more concerned about employee mental health now than in the past, according to a study by the American Psychological Association.
The APA’s 2022 Work and Well-Being Survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 2,000 working adults between April 22 and May 2, 2022.
When asked to choose from a list of a dozen possible supports they would like to see employers offer, flexible working hours was the most frequently selected support (41% of workers), followed by a workplace culture that respects free time (34 %), possibility of remote work (33%) and four-day work week (31%).
“These findings underscore the importance of workplace mental health support for workers in all industries,” said Arthur S. Evans, Jr., Ph.D., APA’s CEO. “Part of the increased focus on mental health support in the workplace may be a result of employers working to meet the needs of employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While these efforts have been helpful, it is important to recognize that many workers continue to struggle and need additional support. Therefore, employers should maintain and in some cases expand the mental health services they offer.”
Workers revealed significant sources of workplace stress, from compensation to harassment to discrimination. In fact, a majority of employees (71%) say they worry about their pay not keeping up with inflation. In addition, nearly a quarter (24%) reported that they did not feel they were receiving adequate compensation. Workers who feel they are not adequately compensated cite two main factors for this feeling: Pay does not keep up with inflation (60%) and does not reflect all the work they do (52%). Those who worry about their pay not keeping up with inflation are also significantly more likely to report a negative impact of work on their psychological well-being than their peers. Nearly two in five (39%) say their work environment has had a negative impact on their mental health, compared to 21% of those who were not worried about compensation and more than half of those who were of the impact of inflation on their compensation (54%) generally felt strained or stressed, compared to 34% of those who were not worried.
Almost one in five (18%) of all employees describe their workplace as somewhat or very toxic. In addition, harm in the form of harassment, verbal abuse or physical violence at work – either by someone inside their organization (such as a colleague or manager) or outside – was suffered by three in 10 workers (30%) in the past year. More than one in five employees (22%) say someone in their organization or outside has verbally abused them in the workplace.
Many workers may not have experienced workplace abuse, but said they felt intimidated while working. Black and Hispanic workers are more likely to say they are often afraid at work (29% for black adults and 31% for Hispanic adults). Younger adults are also more likely to say they are often scared than adults age 44 or older. A total of 38% of 18- to 25-year-olds and 32% of 26- to 43-year-olds report feeling intimidated at work, compared to 17% of 44- to 57-year-olds, 10% of 58- to 64-year-olds annual and 6% of workers aged 65 and over.
Although 13% of all workers say they have experienced discrimination (such as unequal treatment based on some aspect of identity such as race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, age) in the workplace, this number is higher for employees from marginalized groups. More than a quarter of disabled workers (27%) say they have been discriminated against in the workplace, while less than one in 10 non-disabled workers (8%) say the same. More LGBTQ+ workers than non-LGBTQ+ workers experienced discrimination (22% vs. 12%), and black workers were almost twice as likely to report experiencing workplace discrimination as white workers (21 % vs. 11%) .
“It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees while on the job,” Evans said. “There’s always more that can be done.”
The survey was conducted online in the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association among 2,016 adults aged 18+ who reside in the US and are employed full-time, part-time or self-employed. The survey was conducted from April 22 to May 2, 2022. Data were weighted, where appropriate, by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, household size, employment status, household income, and propensity to online to bring them in line with their actual share of the population.
Respondents for this study were selected from among those who agreed to participate in our surveys. Sampling precision of online Harris polls is measured using a Bayesian confidence interval. For this study, the sample data are accurate to within plus or minus 3.3 percentage points using the 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the study population of interest.
All sample surveys and polls, whether they use probability sampling or not, are subject to numerous other sources of error that most often cannot be quantified or estimated, including but not limited to coverage error, error, related to non-response, error related to question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and corrections.
Faced with compounding stressors, many American workers plan to change jobs in the coming year
Survey results: www.apa.org/pubs/reports/work- … ental-health-support
Courtesy of the American Psychological Association
Quote: Poll Shows Employees Plan to Seek Jobs With Mental Health Support (2022, July 14) Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-poll-employees -workplaces-mental-health.html
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