In our article last week on the results of our survey on Employee Mental Health during the ECQ, we learned that the younger workforce (Millennials and Gen Zs) were the ones mentally suffering the most during the ECQ with 43% having severe stress levels, 87% with high anxiety and 62% with severe depression levels. One reason why this may be the case is because having children and spouse as companions during ECQ turns out to be good for one’s mental health. They seem to dampen the impact of the ECQ, which something majority of the younger workforce probably do not have as their home situation.
While having a spouse and kids at home are positive influences to one’s mental well-being, these are fixed home situations we can’t act on. It is best, therefore, to look at other factors that influence mental health; behaviors that we have settled into at home during the ECQ which both positively and negatively affect our mental health. These in turn can be addressed on a personal and organizational level in order to help arrest a mental health crisis in the Philippine workforce.
Now, what has everyone been doing during the ECQ? Watching Netflix, exercising, reading, cooking? Based on the survey, too much time watching movies increases the likelihood of severe depression by 2.4X especially when one watches more than 6 hours a day. Not doing any exercise is a risk factor to severe anxiety (1.5x) and depression (3x). Meanwhile, those who spend 2 to 3 hours a day on social media are almost 3 times most likely to have extremely severe depression and 1.6 times more likely to have extremely severe anxiety. Now all of these activities we can try to modify in order to get to a better headspace if you feel you’re feeling more stressed, anxious, or depressed.
How about for those currently working from home? The survey has shown that working from home increases by 5 times the likelihood of extremely severe depression. Now, this is a staggering number and a very important insight. Companies should take heed of this sobering data and look into how they can address their employees’ mental well-being. Because if companies want to recover from this crisis, and because it remains uncertain until when most employees will be working from home, then it’s important for companies to have a mental health program in place.
*PVP’s Listening Room is your company’s direct access to a mental health professional who can help your employees if they feel they need someone to talk to.
*On June 23-25, PVP will be conducting an Online Seminar-Workshop on Designing and Developing Mental Health Programs in the Workplace