55 days lost per year due to workplace conflict, says TELUS Health

The monthly TELUS Mental Health Index revealed that Canadian workers who deal with conflict in the workplace lose an average of 55 work days per year.

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TELUS Health has released its monthly TELUS Mental Health Index, which revealed that workers who experience conflict at work lose an average of 55 work days per year.

The index also found that among Canadian workers, 26 per cent said that better support for their wellbeing is more important than an increase in salary.

“The negative impacts of stress, whether stemming from external factors or internal dynamics within the workplace, have a ripple effect throughout an organization, impacting every level,” said Juggy Sihota, chief growth officer, TELUS Health.

“The wellbeing of workers and the success of the business are inherently connected. By prioritizing investments in tools, processes and comprehensive benefits plans that foster a psychologically safe and supportive work environment, employers can cultivate a highly engaged and productive workforce that drives business outcomes.”

The index noted that mental health and work-related stressors are also linked to productivity loss at work.

According to the index, a total of 28 per cent of Canadian workers have a mental health score of 50 or lower. The productivity loss of this group is at least double the number of days in comparison to the 13 per cent of workers with a mental health score of 90 or higher.

There is also a loss of 55 and 53 working days per year in productivity, respectively, among workers reporting diagnosed depression and anxiety.

The index noted that a majority of workers in Canada prioritize dental benefits (51 per cent), followed by prescription medication (47 per cent), and vision care (32 per cent) when asked about their most valued elements of health benefits.

According to the index, workers under 40 are more than twice as likely as workers over 50 to value psychological services the most.

The highest mental health score was 70.4 and was among the 39 per cent of workers who find fulfillment in a balanced personal and work life. The score of this group is almost seven points higher than the national average.

“As mental health scores continue to be at a sub-optimal level, workers are increasingly aware that financial and mental wellbeing are deeply interconnected, and that overall wellbeing involves far more than just a salary,” said Paula Allen, global leader, research & client insights, TELUS Health.

“In today’s uncertain economic environment, it is very telling that workers are placing equal, if not greater, importance on wellbeing support compared to their salary. This highlights a significant opportunity for employers to meet employees’ needs by providing resources and real-time support that go beyond financial considerations in order to maintain morale and ultimately retain top talent.”

The index noted that the mental health score of workers in Canada has decreased for the third month in a row, with the October 2023 score standing at 63.7, in comparison to the September score of 64.4.

The October TELUS Mental Health Index also includes findings related to diagnosed and undiagnosed health conditions and work-life balance and expectations of COVID-19 policies in the workplace.