Jessica Fino 7 Feb 2019 04:46pm

Work pressure hurts business leaders’ mental health

More than half of UK business leaders have admitted feeling mentally affected by workplace pressures

Of the 500 directors and managers surveyed by the Institute of Directors (IoD), 57% have experienced mental health issues triggered or worsened by workplace pressures.

The vast majority (67%) said lack of work/life balance was the biggest factor hurting their mental health, followed by heavy workload (54%), issues with staff (44%) and the high level of responsibility (38%).

The IoD revealed that 61% of the leaders said their organisation does not offer mental health training for the management, mainly due to lack of appropriate information and guidance on how to carry them out (46%) or a lack of time (24%) or financial resources (21%).

Moreover, 42% admitted their business does not actively promote mental wellbeing.

The organisation’s Time to Talk Day report revealed that 56% of the respondents believed greater engagement with peer networks and other directors would have a positive impact on their mental health.

Furthermore, 46% said implementing flexible work arrangements would also make a difference.

Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the IoD, said, “Mental health is an issue that needs to be taken seriously at all levels of business. There has rightly been a growing focus in recent years on companies paying much greater attention to the wellbeing of their staff, but these figures are a reminder that mental health issues can affect anyone.

“For entrepreneurs and senior directors, life often revolves around work, and when a problem arises on the job, it can feel all-encompassing. With the success or failure of the organisation on their shoulders, some directors find it hard to prioritise their own wellbeing.”

Morgan added that smaller firms in particular should have access to straightforward information and guidance on what they can do to address mental health in the workplace.

Most business leaders (66%) told the IoD they do not think there is enough clear support and resources available for employers to support mental health in the workplace.