With anxiety in the workplace growing and issues spilling over into the workplace, we examine the role that software can take. Our aim is to help business manage this complex and growing problem.
New research shows that young women are most at risk of experiencing anxiety in the workplace. The Jean Hailes Women’s Health Survey 2017 released last Sunday shows that out of 10,000 women surveyed aged between 18-35 years, 40% have been professionally diagnosed with depression or anxiety. Much of the blame has been centred on their use of social media and the need to be connected 24/7.
More than 40% reported feeling anxious, nervous and “on the edge”, while many agreed to regularly feeling easily annoyed or irritated. The impact of anxiety in the workplace is showing with workplace health and safety statistics reporting that 20% of staff are experiencing a mental health issue at any given time. However, over 50% delay reporting workplace injuries and illness for fear of losing their job or being treated differently. Vulnerability and stigma are the key barriers with an average of staff engagement with Employment Assistance Programmes at a low of 5%.
Young women are particularly active on social media platforms. The use of mobile devices places Australia as a world consumer with 87% connected. Mobile has more impact on consumer actions than television as demonstrated by the 2015 Brand Building on Mobile Survey conducted by Google and Ipsos. So how can business use social media and software to address anxiety in the workplace?
Business can start by using social media and software to push the message. This is the way people, especially young people, are accessing information. Simply stating that young women should reduce their connectivity isn’t going to solve the problem. Workplaces could introduce software that is delivered via mobile devices to provide information on signs and symptoms of anxiety and encourage staff to seek help early. Software could provide business with data that shows groups of staff with increased anxiety so that they can tailor their well-being programmes to target these groups. Anxiety in the workplace can be managed and addressed if businesses are guided where to look and what to do.
All of Me is software that is available to use across mobile devices. It teaches about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in the workplace using animated workplace examples. It encourages staff to seek help if they are anxious, because it is anonymous, non-confrontational and research is showing that people are happier to reach out through a device, rather than speak to a manager. Finally, All of Me provides business with much needed data with insights into groups of staff with higher levels of anxiety. This helps business to choose the best support mechanisms within their well-being programmes to purposefully address the issue of anxiety in the workplace.
Next week is Women’s Health Week. Let’s place mental health and particularly anxiety front and centre. With help and support women can manage the issue and live wonderful and productive lives.