Why workplace wellbeing matters

Did you know that 1 in 6 workers, right now, are experiencing mental health difficulties such as stress, depression and/or anxiety? 1 in 5 have taken a day off due to stress. Have you thought about your own workforce?

The Centre for Mental Health has calculated that presenteeism from mental ill-health alone costs the UK economy £15.1 billion per annum, while absenteeism costs £8.4 billion.

The demands of both your staff and business can be overwhelming. The impact of workplace mental health difficulties are costing the UK economy approximately over £29 billion a year through lost working days, staff turnover and lower productivity.

Three quarters of businesses say they don't have a mental health policy

68% of employees say it's a businesses responsibility to make provisions for mental and emotional wellbeing

Just 7% of employees have discussed mental health with their staff in the past 12 months

Three in four employees would rather talk about mental health with someone outside work

1 in 3 employees say stress and anxiety make it difficult to get work finished

82% of businesses agree they should adapt their workplace and working practices to promote mental wellbeing

The leading cause of sickness absence

It is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, accounting for 17.9 million sick days in 2019-2020.

On average, each person suffering took around 17.6 days off from work. This varies as follows:


  • 9.1 days for injuries
  • 20 days for ill-health cases
  • 18.4 days for musculoskeletal disorders
  • 21.6 days for stress, depression or anxiety

Of people have resigned from a job due to stress


Of people take a day off from work for stress


Have thought about resigning due to stress

The reality of stress-related problems in the workplace

This is one of the highest average days lost per case figure amongst the recognised health complaints covered in the LFS.

The LFS estimated that the top work activity causing work-related stress, or making it worse was workload, in particular tight deadlines, too much work or too much pressure or responsibility. With a prevalence rate of 2,440 per
100,000 workers.


Other factors identified included a lack of managerial support, organisational changes at work, violence and role uncertainty (lack of clarity about job/uncertain what meant to do).

Attentive and perceptive employers know the benefits of having a healthy and productive workforce. If you manage and support your employees’ mental well-being, you can ensure that your staff perform to their potential, allowing your business to achieve peak performance.


Take longer to do tasks


Are potentially less patient with customers or clients


Find it difficult to concentrate


More likely to get into conflict with colleages


Find it harder to juggle multiple tasks

The role of management

Management can often fail to appreciate factors causing poor mental health as they are naturally quite resilient and don’t have a problem dealing with pressure themselves. Therefore they expect everyone else to cope.

We know that training is about more than how to motivate your staff to drive as many sales as they can.

We live in a period of accelerated change where training recognises the enormous improvements that can be made in staff well-being, leaving you to concentrate on your business.

Five takeaways

Use data and evidence to inform the process and make the business case

Build a culture of openness and dialogue

Educate line management to engage in effective conversations and build awareness

Lead from the top through example and formalised processes

Keep the conversation and sharing of wellbeing strategies alive