A new survey reveals that over half of British workers would be willing to wear a health tech device that may detect the early signs of mental health symptoms if their employer would supply the device.
With 4 in 10 of the British workforce having experienced symptoms of a mental health condition in the workplace, the fourth annual AXA Health Tech & You State of the Nation online survey conducted by YouGov, looked at the willingness of workers to adopt health technology in the workplace to help support employee wellbeing. For employers, health tech can provide useful information to help reduce workforce absenteeism and increase productivity.
The survey revealed that if an employer is willing to supply a device, 45 per cent of employees are comfortable to share information gathered if it helps with employee health and wellbeing strategies.
Out of those not feeling comfortable sharing information on mental health with their employer, the majority are worried about workplace discrimination or do not like the idea of their employer knowing details of their health and lifestyle. However, if the information was anonymised, half would feel comfortable sharing this data with their employer.
The Health Tech & You Survey results showed mixed perceptions of sharing mental health issues with employers: Over half of those who have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition in the workplace haven’t discussed this with their employer. But of those who had talked to their employer, the majority have been supported or helped to manage their symptoms in the workplace.
Suzanne Scott, HR Director at AXA PPP healthcare, said: “In my experience line managers want to support people in their teams who experience mental health issues. Technology opens up a new way to help both the employee and the manager broach the subject and having the relevant data is always a helpful way into a conversation. At AXA PPP we are looking at ways we can introduce technology to help us take the next step forward in supporting our people’s wellness.”
The importance of mental health in the workplace features as part of the AXA Health Tech & You programme. Now in its fourth year it features an Awards programme which has a dedicated category focusing on mental health in the workplace. The category has an objective to better support employees’ mental wellbeing and is looking for solutions that can monitor day-to-day behaviours and flag up early signs of mental health conditions.