Adapting to Evolving Needs in Workplace Mental Health
Mental health and wellbeing have become one of the biggest challenges for organisations. The rise in cost of living, workplace stress, geopolitical threats, and evolving travel and security risks can all impact mental health. While traditional job perks and compensation remain essential, employees are now seeking more holistic support from their employers, especially with the evolving nature of Duty of Care in the workplace.
What is Duty of Care?
refers to the legal responsibility that employers have to protect their employees from harm. This responsibility becomes especially vital amidst ongoing economic, geopolitical, and security crises, which elevate risks and challenges.
Beyond supplying essential employee benefits and insurance, the concept of Duty of Care within today's workplace extends to safeguarding an employee's health, well-being, safety, and security. Whether situated at a distant location, within the office premises, during work-related travel, throughout an overseas task, or while operating from one's residence, the responsibilities tied to Duty of Care persist. Failing to implement rational measures to avert untoward incidents could not only imperil the employee's health and safety but also cast a shadow on the organisation's effectiveness.
Our 2023 Risk Outlook survey respondents highlighted the impact that global crises are having on mental health and productivity, with the three most common impacts to domestic employees and remote workers productivity being:
- Cost of living pressures
- Natural disasters (such as those related to the climate crisis)
- Security threats (such as protests, violence, and terrorism)
Over the past year, there has been a notable increase in new legal mandates, frameworks and guidelines concerning mental health (including the WHO Mental Health at Work guidelines). All these emphasise the significance of offering favourable work environments for employees through effectively administered roles.
Best practices and recommendations
- Increase resources for all such as providing autonomy, belonging and competence to employees. Doing so will mitigate the impact of high demands.
- Focus on reducing demands (such as unmanageable workload or work pace).
- Understand the working conditions within your organisation. This might be through existing data such as employee surveys, or through conducting a psychosocial risk assessment.
- Focus on upskilling line managers with the skills, resources and conditions to manage stress in others.
How can International SOS help?
Our experts provide the strategic framework and policy development needed to protect your global workforce by:
- Conducting a mental health and wellbeing assessment to define a personalised action plan.
- Review, plan and update mental health and wellbeing policies to set a company-wide strategy.
- Delivering educational awareness and training sessions.