Remote Working Raises Concerns About Employee Mental Health, Towergate Survey Finds

Towergate Health & Protection has conducted a comprehensive survey of companies across the UK, revealing that nearly half of all employers (49%) are most concerned about the mental health of their employees now that remote working has become widely practiced.

According to the survey, mental health was the top concern for 49% of employers, followed by social wellbeing for 39% and financial health and physical health for 30% of employers. Only 14% of employers reported having no concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of their employees under the new remote working arrangements.

Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Wellbeing, emphasizes the importance of employers addressing the mental health needs of their employees in light of the changing work styles and the prevalence of hybrid workforces. She suggests that robust mental health support should be implemented, and regular communication should be maintained with employees to ensure they are aware of the available assistance and how to access it.

Employers can leverage existing options to support employee mental health. Many employees already have access to an employee assistance program (EAP) through standalone policies or as part of group life, income protection, or critical illness cover. EAPs often provide various levels of counseling, including talking therapies and online courses. Private medical insurance may cover outpatient psychological support and in-patient stays, while cash plans can include counseling support.

Additionally, employers may consider providing standalone mental health support independent of other benefits. This could involve offering access to online or in-person counseling, specialized courses, or training mental health first aiders who can guide individuals to appropriate help.

Digital options are also emerging as viable avenues for providing mental health support to employees. There are now numerous online resources, such as mood monitoring apps and resilience-building tools, that assist employees in managing their emotions and identifying potential issues before they escalate.

Debra Clark concludes by emphasizing the importance of employers being fully aware of the available mental health support options and effectively communicating these resources to their employees, as mental health spans a spectrum and requires attention at various levels.

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