Search

How can we help?

Icon

Using technology to support employees mental health

The global pandemic has drastically changed how many organisations and its employees work as they were forced to adjust to a new way of working. This new way of working had a number of consequences such as the need to find ways to ensure businesses could continue, trying to retain jobs and also dealing with feeling lonely, disconnected and out of control.

A recent study of Oracle and Workplace Intelligence (Research Report: AI@Work 2021 (oracle.com)) found that 80% of employees surveyed said that the past year negatively impacted them with many struggling financially, suffering from declining mental health and lacking career motivation.

The study also found that employees have much different priorities compared to prior to the pandemic. This includes factors such a placing a great importance on achieving a work-life balance, prioritising their mental health and reconsidering the type of employer they want to work for.

With this in mind, now more than ever, employers need to prioritise the mental health of their employees. However, due to the stigma surrounding mental health, many employees are hesitant to ask their managers, co-workers or HR for help due to a fear of being ostracized. Employees are also often afraid to voice their concerns at work due to a fear of being excluded and any potential consequence of doing so. As robots cannot judge, this would explain why 82% of people surveyed in the above survey believe that robots can support their careers better than humans.

As the pandemic has accelerated the mental health crisis, a number of technology solutions to meet the mental health needs of individuals have emerged. This had led to companies partnering with wellness technology companies in an attempt to support and monitor employees mental health needs.

Wellness companies fall in into a number of categories and some of the types of support they offer are detailed below:

  • Meditation apps – Two of the most popular meditation apps, Calm and Headspace, provide content that encourage and teach individuals how to meditate, get better quality sleep and lower stress levels.
  • Fitness apps – There are a number of apps that offer virtual fitness classes and the ability to track health data.
  • Dieting apps – Many apps help individuals to track their eating and learn about nutrition.
  • Chatbox therapy – Through the use of AI, psychologists have development chatbots that assist individuals with their mental health issues through a messaging system.
  • Online counselling – There are apps which provide individuals with support from therapists through text, audio and video messaging.
  • Mood tracking – Some apps provide individuals with the ability to track their moods throughout the day by asking questions and providing prompts to help them improve their mental health.

As the pandemic has accelerated the mental health crisis, companies  are partnering with wellness technology companies to support and monitor employees mental health.

Whilst appreciating technology is not a complete solution to mental health issues, it does provide 24/7 help to employees and can be successful for both employees that attend the workplace and those who work remotely. However, employers should consider that this may not replace the importance of human interaction and ensuring employees work in a supportive environment.

Although some companies are already offering tools and resources to support employee mental health, the above survey found that 85% of employees were not satisfied with their employer’s support of their careers and 87% believed that their company should be doing more to listen to their needs.

With this in mind, employers must make the mental health needs of their employees a paramount concern in an attempt to support and address the ongoing mental health crisis.

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

Pub
  • 05 March 2024
  • Privacy and Data Protection

How do I protect my business in the event of a personal data breach?

Don’t let your business fall victim to personal data breaches. Join Louise Keenan and Rebecca Dowle, for a quick overview of how to protect your business.

Pub
  • 05 March 2024
  • Privacy and Data Protection

AI Podcast: AI and Intellectual Property

In the second of our three-part ‘AI Podcast’ series, Jacob Montague and Lucy Densham Brown, will be exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) interacts with intellectual property rights (IP rights).

art
  • 04 March 2024
  • Corporate and M&A

Treasury Shares – An Opportunity to be Treasured

Under section 658 of the Companies Act 2006 (‘CA 2006’), there is a general rule against companies acquiring and owning their own shares.

art
  • 28 February 2024
  • Commercial Real Estate

Hidden risks in serviced office agreements

This is usually a fully furnished and equipped office space that is managed by a facility management company and made available for short-term or long-term rentals to businesses, varying from one week to a year, or even longer.

art
  • 27 February 2024
  • Employment

Changing Attitudes to Menopause

We have set out some answers to the frequently asked questions that employers ask when considering how to support a menopausal employee.

art
  • 22 February 2024
  • Employment

Time to take the heat off menopausal women

On 22 February 2024, the EHRC released guidance and resources for employers designed to help employers understand their legal obligations in relation to supporting workers experiencing menopausal symptoms.