Two thirds of UK employees have taken a day off work in the last year as a result of stress, depression or anxiety

New survey results suggest mental health issues are having a significant impact on productivity in the workplace. Events company Wildgoose surveyed employees at 250 businesses across the UK and found there remains a stigma surrounding mental health at work. Of those surveyed who have taken a day off work, just under half admitted to calling in sick with a different complaint to the one from which they were actually suffering. Two thirds of respondents (62 percent) said they had taken a day off work as a result of stress, depression or anxiety.

The survey also found that 43 percent indicated that they would say nothing and carry on as normal if faced with mental health issues, whilst 4 percent stated they would call in with a different issue. The report claims that these results highlight a disparity between how individuals perceive they would deal with mental health issues at work, and how they would handle the situation in reality.

The survey also highlights differences in absence across various groups and demographics. On average, women are less likely to take a day off work for mental health related issues, with just over 60 percent taking a day off in the last year compared to just under two thirds of men.

Job ranking also appears to be a factor when it comes to taking time off work, with interns and business owners the least likely (at just under 45 percent) to take time off. By contrast, those at executive level were the most likely to take time off at just under 70 percent.

The findings of the survey highlight the need for employers to take an empathetic approach to mental health in the workplace, emphasising the need for implementation of appropriate support structures. Team building is key to bolstering employee happiness in the workplace, as stated by 30 percent of those surveyed.

In addition:

  •  91 percent of National Rail users have taken a day off work with a mental health-related issue in the last year. This compares with 63 percent of Underground users and 50 percent of DLR commuters
  • Those who walked to work still ranked above average for having taken a day off in the last year, with 67 percent having suffered from a mental health-related issue
  • London residents came in below average at 56 percent, but for those living in the South West and East of England (the commuter belt), absenteeism due to mental health rose to 72 percent