- Employees (64%) have reported
experiencing fair and poor mental wellness at work in the last 12 months.
- Since the start of COVID-19,
employees (41%) reported a
deteriorating state of mental well-being at work.
- Majority of employees (79%)
recognise the presence of a stigma attached to mental wellness issues at their
workplace, with 61% of them unlikely to discuss their issues at work with their
- Many employees engage in 'leaveism'
(58%) and 'presentism' (40%) to catch up on work and deadlines.
- More than
half of employees (54%) say that they are 'not really
satisfied' or 'not satisfied at all' with the current mental wellness
initiatives by their company.
SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 4
October 2021 - Mental well-being has been a forefront concern on the nation's
agenda recently, with the outbreak of the pandemic highlighting the
vulnerabilities of employees as they struggle with various stressors in the
workplace. Despite that, many employees believe that more can be done by their
companies to establish a safer and more conducive working environment.
NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB)'s Mental
Wellness at the Workplace Report
2021, which seek to investigate perceptions regarding mental well-being at
the workplace in Singapore. With mental wellness defined by employees (84%) as
the 'ability to cope with stresses of daily life, including work-related
stress', the report details findings from an online poll conducted with 200 employees
While companies should strive to actively promote good mental
well-being at the workplace, more than three in five
employees revealed that their mental wellness at work has been either 'fair',
'poor' or 'very poor' in the last 12 months, with nearly half of them reporting
feeling constantly stressed due to 'poor work-life balance' (52%) or 'feeling
undervalued' at work (51%). More than eight in ten employees claim that their
state of mental well-being at work has either remained consistent or worsened
since the start of COVID-19, with the top reasons being that of 'heavier workload' (64%), 'decreased job
security' (54%) and 'blurred lines between work and personal life' (52%).
According to employees, having poor
mental well-being at work 'reduces motivation to do tasks well' (69%),
'decreases productivity' (68%) and 'affects decision making' (60%).
Existing Stigma and
Engaging in Presenteeism and Leaveism
With the majority of employees (79%) recognising the
existence of a stigma surrounding mental wellness and well-being issues at the
workplace, around three in five employees voice discomfort towards discussing
issues regarding their mental wellness at work, with the 'fear of being
perceived differently' (60%) being the key reason inhibiting discussions on
mental wellness at work.
Instead, employees engage in 'presenteeism' and
'leaveism'. More than half of employees (58%) engage in leaveism, working
outside official office hours
or even on their leave days to catch up on work. In the case of presenteeism,
40% of employees reveal reporting to work even though they were feeling unwell
in order to cope with the workload and deadlines. In order to reduce such
company cultural practices, the key solution raised by employees was to 'build
trust and open communication' (60%) between their employers and themselves.
More Initiatives to Safeguard Employee Wellness Needed
Most employees believe that their companies could do
more to safeguard their mental wellness. With more than half (54%) of them
being 'not really satisfied' or 'not satisfied at all' with the current mental
wellness initiatives by their company. In fact, issues related to mental
wellness at the workplace are 'not discussed regularly with employees' (58%), 'not
being well understood by managers or HR' (46%), or 'not taken seriously at all'
(44%). This shows that companies and their leaders need to place an increasing
emphasis on the value of employees' mental wellness.
Commenting on the findings, President of the Healthcare
Services Employees' Union, and Chairman of NTUC LHUB's Healthcare Academy, K.
Thanaletchimi, says "In this current era of uncertainty, workers are faced with
many challenges in relation to family and work, which are key facets of their
lives. While striving to do their best at the workplace to secure a livelihood,
many are forced to compromise on achieving a work-life balance. Therefore,
employers are in the best position to provide assurance beyond job security,
but also ensuring there are initiatives in place to advance employees' overall
welfare and well-being at work."
According to Soh Hooi Peng, NTUC LHUB's Director of
Strategy, Special Projects and Corporate Development, "Demands at work have
increased as companies navigate through the transformed business landscape. As
a result, employees carry additional stress as they try to cope with higher expectations
and unprecedented changes at the workplace. This can lead to heavier workloads,
which may result in employees spending longer hours working, thereby causing
fatigue and affecting mental wellness. Careful consideration by employers must
be taken to prevent employee burnout."
CEO & Chief Psychologist at iGROW, Benedict Lim,
elaborates, "Safeguarding mental well-being creates a workplace that is safer
for everyone. In doing so, companies will be able to address the intangible
aspects of work such as morale, engagement and team cohesion which contribute
to work outcomes."
To download the
Mental Wellness At The Workplace Report 2021, visit https://www.ntuclearninghub.com/mental-wellness-2021
or contact NTUC LearningHub here to find out more on how you or your company can improve
mental wellness and foster greater resilience.
 Organisations need to take proactive and preventative steps
promote good mental well-being. (CIPD, 2018)