MPOWER ‘Mental Health and Wellness Quotient @Workplace’ Survey sheds light on challenges faced by Corporate Employees in Kolkata

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Kolkata: MPower, an initiative by The Aditya Birla Education Trust, in collaboration with IPSOS, revealed the results of a groundbreaking survey ‘Mental Health and Wellness Quotient @Workplace 2023’ shedding light on the startling challenges faced by corporate employees in major metropolitan cities of India.

The survey, conducted over a period of 12 months, examined the mental health status of 3,000 corporate employees from ten sectors across eight major Indian cities, including participants from Kolkata. Kolkata-based employees were found to have several unique challenges that need to be addressed by corporates to improve their mental health.

Work-Life Pressures: The survey revealed 89% found it challenging to strike a good-enough work-life balance and this is exacerbated by the pattern of expecting employees to work on leave – which was found to be second highest in Kolkata, i.e. 88%; Delhi was highest at 90% and Mumbai at 84%.

Financial Pressures: Insufficient salary and pay cuts emerged as the top financial challenges observed across industries, job roles, and cities. Among cities, pay cuts and job loss were more evident in Kolkata in comparison to either Delhi or Mumbai. Over 52% of respondents in Kolkata reported experiencing financial pressures due to insufficient salary, with pay cuts affecting 56% of respondent

Current Health Issues: Back pain, diabetes, and hypertension were the top three ailments faced by employees across domains, cities, job roles, industries, and age brackets, with a risk of stress levels. Kolkata specifically suffered from hypertension, high cholesterol, and arthritis, which were significantly higher in Kolkata than in other cities. 44% of respondents in Kolkata reported suffering from hypertension, while high cholesterol was reported among 31% employees and arthritis affected nearly 25% of respondents – all of these figures were higher than in most other cities.

Leave Policy: While the leave policy is largely satisfactory, the majority of employees are expected to work while on their day off or on leave. The survey found that 63% respondents in Kolkata reported being expected to work while on their day off or on leave, the highest prevalence among all cities.

Dr. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Mpower and Aditya Birla Education Trust, said, “Corporate burnout and the mental health stress among employees have reached alarming levels in India, and we must take action to address this critical issue. At Mpower, we are committed to driving conversations around mental health and raising awareness to help destigmatize mental health discussions. We urge policy changes at both the government and corporate levels, with a focus on mental health as a real challenge that requires attention.”

Dr. Neerja Birla added, “Employee well-being programs must be implemented to support those in need, and the destigmatization of mental health is urgently required to ensure equitable support to all employees. A physically and mentally healthy workforce is crucial for a country like India, which is relying on its youth for economic growth. Let’s prioritize mental health and take the necessary steps to create a healthier, more productive workforce for the betterment of our nation.”

Dr. Preeti Parakh, Psychiatrist and Head, Mpower The Center Kolkata, said, “Kolkata’s work culture has seen a significant shift towards long working hours, tight deadlines, and a high-pressure work environment, leading to a rise in work-related stress and its adverse effects on mental and physical health. The correlation between work pressure and hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol is concerning, and it is crucial for organizations to prioritize their employees’ mental and physical health. Providing support to employees to manage stress and promoting work-life balance can go a long way in preventing these health issues.”

Dr. Preeti Parakh said, “Companies can offer flexible work arrangements, promote a culture of openness and communication, and provide mental health support through employee assistance programs, counseling services, and workshops. These measures not only help in preventing health issues but also result in a happier and more productive workforce. It is time for companies to recognize the impact of work-related stress on their employees and take proactive steps to promote mental and physical well-being. By doing so, companies can create a healthy work environment that benefits everyone involved.”

The Mpower Mental Health & Wellness Quotient @Workplace Survey screened corporate employees for mental health challenges in corporates and the areas that impact stress at work. It also assessed how job/work-life balance, family and relationship pressures, and financial pressures affect the mental health of corporate employees.

The survey results can guide corporations in improving the mental health and well-being of their employees by implementing mental health resources and support, destigmatizing mental health issues, and prioritizing employee well-being as a part of their organizational culture. This can improve the lives of employees while also boosting productivity, creativity, and overall success.

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