Present and productive: added benefits of a mentally healthy workplace

Oct 13, 2014

Take a look at any unproductive workplace and chances are you will find high levels of absenteeism, significant compensation claims and employees with reduced productivity. If you look a bit deeper, the cause can often be found in a lack of investment in mental health in the workplace.

Investing in mental health in the workplace brings some significant added benefits to your business: greater productivity, less sick leave and fewer compensation claims.

Take a look at any unproductive workplace and chances are you will find high levels of absenteeism, significant compensation claims and employees with reduced productivity. If you look a bit deeper, the cause can often be found in a lack of investment in mental health in the workplace.


$10.9 billion in lost productivity

A recent report on mental health in the workplace by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that absenteeism due to a mental health condition results in an annual loss to the Australian workplace of $4.7 billion.

In the case of presenteeism – where a person is at work but not optimally productive – mental health conditions in the workplace are estimated to cost Australian business $6.1 billion a year.

Compensation claims resulting from mental health conditions are estimated to cost $146 million each year.

That is a total loss of $10.9 billion per year to Australian businesses.


Healthier, more productive employees

However, a proactive workplace with an action plan to support employee mental health will see increased productivity and reduced absenteeism and compensation claims.

The PwC report shows that a workplace that supports an employee who has a low-level mental health condition will benefit from 10 more productive hours per year from that employee.

A business that invests in mental health initiatives, such as implementing a mental health policy or offering access to psychological support services, can see an employee with a mild or moderate mental health condition taking two fewer sick days and spending 52.5 additional hours each year being productive at work.

For an employee with a severe mental health condition, the benefits of a mental health action plan will see them taking 13 fewer days off and they will provide almost 17 more productive working days each year.


Take action on productivity

Heads Up, a joint initiative of beyondblue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance (MHWA), identifies simple, manageable and successful initiatives that businesses can adopt to see an immediate change in workplace culture and an increase in the wellbeing of their most valuable asset, their employees. To access the Heads Up action plan and business leader tools for better workplace health, simply register your details.


Heads Up on LinkedIn 

If you would like more information and resources about how to create a more mentally healthy workplace, please visit our LinkedIn company page, which is regularly updated with stories and links related to the issue.

If you would like to join the discussion about a mentally healthy workplace, please visit our LinkedIn group page and become part of the conversation.

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