The global pandemic has created a seismic shift in workplace mental health, with over three-fourths of workers saying that this is the most stressful year ever. That’s according to a global study by my company, Workplace Intelligence, and Oracle which surveyed more than 12,000 workers at all levels across 11 countries.
Now more than ever, leaders need to put mental health at the top of their agenda and address this issue. Employees can’t possibly perform at their best when they are suffering inside. And poor mental health is now inescapable as employees work remotely with no separation between their work and personal lives. The study found that 85% of respondents’ mental health issues at work negatively affect their home life, causing things like suffering family relationships, isolation from friends, reduced happiness, and sleep deprivation.
The mental health epidemic at work persists because of the stigma around it. Employees are afraid to speak out about how they feel due to fear of being ostracized by their teams, or even being laid off. This is especially true during this recession, where job opportunities are scarce, and any complaints could result in termination. But this helps explain why a majority of our survey’s respondents—a whopping 82%—are turning to robots, such as chatbots, digital assistants, and artificial intelligence technology, to support their mental health instead of humans. After all, robots can’t judge.