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One Year in the Pandemic: How is the Mental Health of the Working Filipinos?

Updated: May 2, 2023

From the start of the lockdown one (1) year ago, PVP has been tracking mental health indicators using survey data of employees from various organizations in the Philippines. This year, PVP is presenting new insights from the patterns of mental health scores from data collected until January 31, 2021.

The Philippine median age is 25.7 and majority of our labor force is in the Gen Y (26 to 39) and Gen Z (25 and below) age groups. Our data shows that Gen Y and Gen Z’s mental health are the most affected during this pandemic, where 17% had critical stress levels, 37% had critical anxiety levels and 34% had critical depression levels.

The Philippines' Young Labor Force:

The switch to a work from home status has contributed to the higher critical levels in our workforce’s mental health. Those who are working from home are 3.7 times more likely to have critical anxiety levels and 6 times more likely to have critical depression levels. One year on, with still increasing number of positive covid cases and with the reimposition of ECQ, majority of the workforce are still working from home.

An employee’s mental health is not just a personal problem. Our data shows that severe and extremely severe depression impacts employee engagement 6.2 times, severe and extremely severe stress impacts employee engagement 5.5 times and severe and extremely severe anxiety impact employee engagement 2.9 times. Job satisfaction is also affected where severe and extremely severe depression impact job satisfaction 5 times, severe and extremely stress 4 times and severe and extremely severe anxiety 2.9 times.

Companies who have a high number of employees experiencing:

Employees spend a third of their lives at work (and with the work from home set-up, even more now). At least 1 out of 5 of them are suffering from critical mental health issues. It is therefore up to the companies to create a culture in their workplaces where people feel safe and they get the support they need. Companies should therefore take a serious look into their mental health programs and interventions to make sure their employees are happy, satisfied and productive members of the organization. Because investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good for business.

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