How will the future of work impact our mental health?

mental health

With an ever-evolving dynamics of the workplace led by the on-going corona times, the general sentiment of the entire workforce is to make it through the day without breaking down and staying afloat to manage all the day-to-day tasks at home such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, among others tasks, while trying to be actively present in the job, and beyond.


In a country such as ours, one out of every 12 people needs immediate medical intervention, irrespective of age. Today, an employee spends over 1/3rd of their whole life working that is 90,000 hours of their lifetime – which highlights why we need to expedite the process of tending to individual mental health hastily. India not only tops the list of countries with the highest population, but it also tops the list of countries with mental health issues. Further, as per the recent surveys, 42.5% of the private sector employees struggle with stress, depression, or some form of anxiety disorder, i.e., nearly every 2nd employee of corporate India.

As we tread along into the future with digital transformation up our sleeves, we need to create a more sustainable and healthy environment for people to work in. Why? Because the possibility is that nobody has ever fully understood just how rampant mental illness is at work.

Also read: Psychological and Spiritual Quotient – An indicator of one’s mental health


To uplift the current state of individual mental health, organizations are trying to shift their focus from grinding employees to enhance productivity to re-equipping mental health policies and practices at work. Corporate India has realized that there is more than one reason why employees’ mental health is beneficial for overall business growth, such as less absenteeism, better quality of work, and, of course, increased profits. Moreover, organizations’ can immeasurably gain success and enhance sustainability by cultivating a culture of wellness initiatives that not only attracts but also helps retain the best and brightest talent.

What can a company do to help improve its employees’ mental well-being?

●Companies should venture into providing flexible working hours and open communication lines, apart from a clean, safe, and healthy work environment. The organizations must set management accountability and strict policies for any kind of harassment, whether mental or physical, without discriminating on the basis of gender or minority.

●In an ever-altering environment, organizations must take measures to encourage a climate of awareness about mental health concerns, and hence focus on offering a nurturing and healthy work-life balance. If need be, organizations should intervene in their employees’ lives to help them acknowledge any concerns and provide for their counseling sessions.

●Organizing group mental health workshops can play a significant role in educating employees about the causes or symptoms of mental well-being, and will enable them to identify any signs of mental health concerns and immediately seek help in the early stages.

●By giving equal importance to both mental and physical health, organizations can take the first step towards creating a mindful environment for all the employees. Companies can provide their employees with healthcare packages that cover both mental and physical health insurance.

●Subsequently, they can arrange stress-busting activities such as meditation, treasure hunt, yoga, office picnics, or sporting events, which encourage team bonding and help take the stress off the mind.

●Having a grievance redressing committee in any office is quite essential and also mandated by law. This will enable employees to blow off their steam, file a grievance anonymously, and expect to be treated fairly.

Impact of Mental Health Concerns, if not Addressed Pronto

Well, mental health is one of the biggest concerns in the world, which is the driving reason for incapacity. Several researchers have assessed that if not managed strategically, mental health issues can cost the economy worldwide over $16 trillion by 2030 – because of the lost income and the expense of medical coverage. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has just added to this, with 78% of the worldwide workforce reporting a negative effect on their emotional well-being, as per the investigation by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence.

Also, the WHO estimates that India will endure economic misfortunes adding up to an astonishing 1.03 trillion dollars alone from mental health conditions by 2030.

(Disclaimer: The author is Bharat Katyayan, a life coach & thought strategist. Views expressed are a personal opinion.)

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